Skip to main content

Full text of "VINDICATED BY TIME Niyogi Committee Report"

See other formats


VINDICATED BY TIME 


The Niyogi Committee Report 
On Christian Missionary Activities 

Introduction by 

Sita Ram Goel 

Voice of India, New Delhi 




VINDICATED BY TIME 

The Niyuyi Committee Report 
On Christian Missionary Activities 


introduction by 

SITA RAM GOEL 


Install Devnagari 
Font 

Contents 

Preface 

The Sunshine of ‘Secularism’ 

Rift in the Lute 


REPORT OF THE 

Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry 
Committee 
1956 









VOLUME I 


Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry 

Committee, Madhya Pradesh 

Part I 

Part II 

Part III 

Part IV 
Appendices 

REPORT OF THE 

Christianity Missionary Activities Enquiry 
Committee 
1956 

VOLUME II 
Part A 

Tour Programmes of the Committee 

Explanatory tour notes including important 
petitions received by the Committee on tour 

District Raigarh 

District Surguja 

District Raipur 

District Bilaspur 


District Amravati 















District Nimar 


District Yeotmal 

District Akola 
District Buldana 

District Mandla 

District Jabalpur 
District Chhindwara 


Questionnaire 


Replies to Questionnaire 

Replies submitted by Shri J. Lakra 

Replies to Questionnaire concerning the area 

covered by Jashpur, Khuria and Udaipur of the 

Raigarh district 

Replies submitted by the Catholic Sabha of the 

Raigarh district Replies 

Replies submitted by Shri Gurubachan Sing, 

Raipur 

Replies submitted by Chairman and Secretary of 

the General Conference, Mennonite Mission in 

India, Saraipali, Raipur district 

Replies submitted by Rev. Canon, R. A. Kurian, 

Nagpur 























Replies submitted by Rev. E. Raman, President, 

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Madhya Pradesh, 

Gopalganj, Sagar 

Replies submitted by Miss M. L. Merry, Khirkia 

R. S., Hoshangabad district, Madhya Pradesh 

Replies submitted by Shri L. E. Hartman, 

Amravati Camp, Berar, Mission Bungalow, 

Amravati Camp, Berar 

Replies submitted by Umri Mission Hospital, 

Umri, via Yeotmal, Madhya Pradesh 

Replies submitted by Shri F. B. Lucas, President, 

Independent Christian Association, Yeotmal 

Replies submitted by Shri R. W. Scott, Secretary, 

National Christian Council 


Replies submitted by Dr. E. Asirvatham, Nagpur 

Replies submitted by Shri P. S. Shekdar, 

Khamgaon, district Buldana 

Replies submitted by Shri Sohanlal Aggarwal, 

Secretary, Vedic Sanskriti Raksha Samiti. 

Replies submitted by Shri T. Y. Dehankar, 

President. Bar Association, and six others of 

Bilaspur 

Replies submitted by Shri M.N. Ghatate, Nagpur 

Sangh Chalak. 


Replies submitted by Shri R. K. Deshpande, 

Pleader, Jashpurnagar 




























VOLUME II 
Part B 


Correspondence of Roman Catholics with the 

Committee, the state government and the Central 

Government 


Extracts from Catholic Pharma ka Pracharak and 

other pamphlets showing the methods of 

propaganda 


Short History of Chhattisgarh Evangelical 

Mission 


Statement made before the Christian 
Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee. 

Camp: Raipur (22-7-1955) 

Camp Bilaspur (25-7-1955) 

Raigarh (28-7-1955) 

Jashpur (22-11-1955) 

Jabalpur (8-8-1955) 

Sagar (11-8-1955) 

Mandla (15-8-55) 

Khandwa (17-8-55) 

Yeotmal (10-8-55) 

Camp Amravati (13-8-1955) 




















Washim (16-8-1955) 


Buldana 18-8-1955 


Malkapur (20-8-1955) 

(22-8-1955) 

Nagpur (20-9-1955) 

Camp Ambikapur (19-11-1955) 


Activities of Christian Missions in the Eastern 
States and proselytism in the Udaipur State by 
the Jesuit Mission 


Back to Home Back to VOI Books Back to Top 















PREFACE 


It was the summer of 1982. VOICE OF INDIA 
had hardly started its programme of publications. 
One fine morning an aged and visibly ailing 
sannyasi dropped in at my office in New Delhi. 

He had travelled all the way from some place (I 
forget the name) in Andhra Pradesh. Someone 
had given him a copy of my booklet, Hindu 
Society Under Siege, and having read the 
chapter, ‘Residue of Christianism’, he had 
concluded that I was the guy he had been looking 
for. He introduced himself as Baba Madhavdas 
and placed on my table printed copies of a 
summary of the Niyogi Committee Report in 
English and Hindi, published by him. Before I 
could ask him to take a seat, he shot a question 
at me, “You must have read the full Report? 

What do you think of it?” 

I felt small and confessed that although I had 
seen the full Report soon after it was published; I 
had not read it even cursorily. His face fell. I had 
disappointed him. He brightened only when I told 
him the story of how I had missed reading the full 
Report till that time, and promised to read it as 
soon as I could lay my hands on it from a 
Government shop or some library. He told me 
that it was no more available in the Government 
shops because Christian missionaries had bought 
all available copies and destroyed them. Even in 
libraries, it was rarely available because the same 
missionaries had seen to it that copies were 
removed, or borrowed and not returned. 

When the Report was published by the 
Government of Madhya Pradesh in 1956, I 
happened to be in the district town of Shahdol in 
Vindhya Pradesh (then a separate State, now 
merged in Madhya Pradesh) for filing my 
nomination papers from that Lok Sabha 
constituency in the Second General Elections 
(1956-57) as a Jana Sangh candidate. Pandit 
Prem Nath Dogra, President of the Jana Sangh at 
that time, was also in Shahdol that day. He was 



on a lecture tour of Vindhya Pradesh. We were 
staying in the same room as guests of a local 
gentleman. As we sat and chatted about the 
shape of things in the country at that time, half-a- 
dozen Party activists rushed into the room in a 
state of excitement and placed three volumes on 
the bed on which Pandit Dogra was sitting. One 
of them shouted in a tone of triumph, “Here it is at 
last. Christian missionaries have been disrobed 
(naNgA kar diyA hai). Now it is for the Party, 
Panditji, to take it up and make it known to the 
country at large.” 

Pandit Dogra thumbed through the volumes and 
promised to place it before the Working 
Committee of his Party at the very next meeting. 
Then he handed over the volumes to me and 
asked me to go through them so that I could tell 
him in the evening the gist of what they 
contained. I looked at the title. It was Report of 
the Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry 
Committee Madhya Pradesh, 1956 in 2 Volumes 
and three Parts, Volume II being divided into 
Parts A and B. It became famous as the Niyogi 
Committee Report because its Chairman was Dr. 
M. Bhawani Shankar Niyogi, a retired Chief 
Justice of the Nagpur High Court. 

I glanced through the Report and was impressed 
by the evidence marshalled, literary as well as 
oral. What struck me as very significant was that 
the Christian missionary activities in India had 
been viewed as part of the world-wide missionary 
operations. But that was all. I could not find time 
to read even Volume I of the Report because I 
was busy otherwise throughout the day. In the 
evening Pandit Dogra took away the Report with 
him as he was going to another place to address 
a meeting. I was certainly curious to know more 
about Christian missionaries than I knew at that 
time. It was only a few months earlier that a 
Jesuit priest from Patna had tried and failed to 
convert me. The talk I had had with him during a 
retreat in a Catholic monastery outside 
Hazaribagh in Bihar, had left a bad taste in the 
mouth. The convert I met in the library of St. 
Xavier’s School at Patna later on had turned me 



against Christian missions.- 

Years passed and I forgot all about the Niyogi 
Committee Report. The struggle to survive after 
having invited the ire of the, Nehruvian 
establishment by the opposing Communism, was 
too grim. Moreover, I wanted to know much more 
than I knew about my own SanAtana Dharma and 
its culture, before I could evaluate Christianity and 
its missions. I was ready for that task to a certain 
extent when I wrote that essay in Hindu Society 
Under Siege in the last quarter of 1981. But I had 
yet to learn a lot. 

Baba Madhavdas did not tell me why and when 
he had taken sannyas, and how he had got 
involved in Hindu resistance to Christian 
missions. All I could learn from him was that he 
had moved all over the tribal areas in Andhra 
Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, West 
Bengal and Assam, starting since a few years 
before India attained independence in 1947. He 
had watched the Christian missionaries and their 
activities from close quarters, and the knowledge 
he had acquired about their means and methods 
was considerable. And he was very happy that 
the Niyogi Committee Report had confirmed in so 
many words all that he had learnt first hand about 
the missionary apparatus and its operations. At 
the same time, he had felt deeply pained that 
whatever resistance to Christian missionaries he 
had noticed before independence, had 
evaporated fast as soon as Pandit Jawaharlal 
Nehru emerged as a colossus after the death of 
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. 

He had begged for small amounts of money, 
bought copies of the Niyogi Committee Report, 
and presented them to leaders of the Jana 
Sangh, the Arya Samaj, the Hindu Mahasabha, 
the Vishva Hindu Parishad when it was formed in 
1964, and various rich men known for their 
sympathy towards Hindu causes. All that he 
wanted them to do was to read the Report and 
mobilize public opinion for persuading the Indian 
State to stop the flow of massive foreign funds, 


which Christian missions were using for 
conversions by means of force, fraud and 
inducements. But his appeals had fallen on deaf 
ears. Different people had advanced different 
reasons for their unwillingness or incapacity to do 
anything in the matter. As a last resort he had got 
several thousand copies of a summary of the 
Report printed in English and Hindi and 
distributed them widely as he moved along. 

He was happy once more when after the passing 
away of Pandit Nehru and before the rise of Indira 
Gandhi to supreme power, the Congress 
Governments of Orissa and Madhya Pradesh had 
passed Freedom of Religion Acts in 1967 and 
1968 enabling the authorities to prevent 
conversions by means of force, fraud and 
inducements. Now citizens who came to know 
such malafide cases of conversion in these two 
States could report to the police or move the 
courts. But he discovered very soon that the Acts 
remained dead letters because people who could 
notice and report such cases were simply not 
there in the missionary fields. 

The Jana Sangh and the Vishva Hindu Parishad 
had disappointed him in particular. When he 
asked the leaders and workers of these 
organizations to read the Report, they said that 
they had no time for books because they were 
active in the field. But when he requested them 
to survey the field and report the cases of 
malafide conversions to the concerned 
authorities, they had replied that the police was 
corrupt and the courts too slow to do anything. At 
the same time, they had boasted that they were 
developing and employing some “positive” 
methods to match the missionary network and 
beat them at their own game. He had yet to see 
these “positive” methods bearing fruit. 

Conversions were going on as ever before. 

Baba Madhavdas felt totally disheartened when I 
told him the truth about VOICE OF INDIA, 
namely, that it had no office of its own, no staff 
except myself, and very limited funds collected 
through donations mainly from a few small 



businessmen with big hearts. He was, he said, a 
tired old man, sick in body and disillusioned in 
mind, and wanted to retire to Vrindavana so that 
he could die in peace. He wanted me to do him a 
favour - take the few hundred copies of the 
summary he had left with him. I bought them 
immediately and included the title in the catalogue 
we published next. At the same time, I promised 
to the Baba that I would read the full Niyogi 
Committee Report and reprint it as soon as I got 
sufficient funds. 

I read the Report soon after and was 
overwhelmed by the wealth of material it 
presented, theoretical as well as empirical. But 
funds for reprinting the Report were not available 
till now. Meanwhile, I had summarised the Report 
in my own way in my History of Hindu-Christian 

p 

Encounters published in 1989.- That summary is 
being included in the Introduction to the reprint. 

The name of this volume which combines the 
reprint with an introduction has been suggested 
by Arun Shourie, as in the case of Hindu 
Temples: What Happened to them. 


Sita Ram Goel 


New Delhi 
25 December, 1997 


Footnotes: 

H have told the story of what I heard and 
saw in How I Became A Hindu (1982), 

Third Enlarged Edition, Voice of India, New 
Delhi, 1993, pp. 46-49. 

2A Second Enlarged Edition has been 
published by Voice of India, New Delhi, in 
1996. 



ONE 


THE SUNSHINE OF SECULARISM’ 

Hindus from early seventeenth century Pandits of 
Tamil Nadu to Arun Shourie in the closing years 
of the twentieth, have spent no end of ink and 
breath to demolish the dogma of Christianity and 
denounce missionary methods. But it has hardly 
made any difference to the arrogance of Christian 
theologians and aggressiveness of Christian 
missionaries. That is because the dogma was 
never meant for discussion. It is an axiom of logic 
that that which has not been proved cannot and 
need not be disproved. Who has ever proved 
that the nondescript Jew who is supposed to have 
been crucified by a Roman governor of Judaea in 
33 AD atoned for the sins of all humans for all 
time to come? Who has ever proved that those 
who accept that man as the only saviour will 
ascend to a heaven of everlasting bliss, and 
those who do not will bum forever in the blazing 
fire of hell? Nor can the proclamation or the 
promise or the threat be disproved. High- 
sounding theological blah blah notwithstanding, 
the fact remains that the dogma is no more than a 
subterfuge for forging and wielding an 
organizational weapon for mounting unprovoked 
aggression against other people. It is high time 
for Hindus to dismiss the dogma of Christianity 
with the contempt it deserves, and pay attention 
to the Christian missionary apparatus planted in 
their midst. 

The sole aim of this apparatus is to ruin Hindu 
society and culture, and take over the Hindu 
homeland. It goes on devising strategies for 
every situation, favourable and unfavourable. It 
trains and employs a large number of intellectual 
criminals ready to prostitute their talents in the 
service of their paymasters, and adept at dressing 
up dark designs in high-sounding language. The 
fact that every design is advertised as a theology 
in the Indian context and every criminal 
euphemized as an Indian theologian, should not 



hoodwink Hindus about the real intentions of this 
gangster game. 

Hindus are committing a grave mistake in 
regarding the encounter between Hinduism and 
Christianity as a dialogue between two religions. 
Christianity has never been a religion; its long 
history tells us that it has always been a predatory 
imperialism par excellence. The encounter, 
therefore, should be viewed as a battle between 
two totally opposed and mutually exclusive ways 
of thought and behaviour. In the language of the 
Gita (Chapter 16), it is war between daivl (divine) 
and Asurl (demonic) sampads (propensities). In 
the mundane context of history, it can also be 
described as war between the Vedic and the 
Biblical traditions. 

This is not the place to go into the premises from 
which the two traditions proceed. I have 

presented them in some detail elsewhere. 1 Here I 
will indicate briefly the behaviour patterns they 
promote. 

The Vedic tradition advises people to be busy 
with themselves, that is, their own moral and 
spiritual improvement. Several disciplines have 
been evolved for this purpose tapas (austerity), 
yoga (meditation), jnAna (reflection), bhakti 
(devotion), etc. A seeker can take to ( adhikAra) 
whichever discipline suits his adhAra (stage of 
moral-spiritual preparation). There is no uniform 
prescription for everybody, no coercion or 
allurement into a belief system, and no 
regimentation for aggression against others. 

The Biblical tradition, on the other hand, teaches 
people to be busy with others. One is supposed 
to have become a superior human being as soon 
as one confesses the ‘only true faith’. 
Thenceforward one stands qualified to ‘save’ 
others. The only training one needs thereafter is 
how to man a mission or military expedition, how 
to convert others by all available means including 
force and fraud, and how to kill or ruin or blacken 
those who refuse to come round. 


The Vedic tradition has given to the world schools 
of SanAtana Dharma, which have practised 
peace among their own followers as well as 
towards the followers of other paths. On the 
other hand, the Biblical tradition has spawned 
criminal cults such as Christianity, Islam, 
Communism, and Nazism, which have always 
produced violent conflicts as much within their 
own camps as with each other and the rest of 
mankind. 


II 

History of Hindu-Christian encounters falls into 
five distinct phases. In all of them Christian 
missionaries stick to their basic dogma of One 
True God and the Only Saviour which Hindus 
should accept or be made to accept. But they 
keep on changing their methods and verbiage to 
suit changing circumstances. To start with, 
spokesmen for Hinduism offer a stiff resistance to 
the Christian message as well as missionary 
methods. But due to a number of factors, Hindu 
resistance weakens in subsequent stages and 
then disappears altogether so that Christianity 
forges ahead with a sense of triumph. 

In the first-phase, which opens with the coming of 
the Portuguese pirates in the sixteenth century, 
more particularly the Patron Saint of those 
pirates, Francis Xavier, Christianity presents itself 
in its true colours. Its language is as crude as in 
its homeland in Europe, and its methods as cruel. 
Hindus are helpless and suffer any number of 
atrocities. Fortunately for them, this phase does 
not last for long. The Portuguese lose power 
except in Goa and some other small territories. 
The other European powers that take over have 
not much time to spare for Christianity except the 
French for a brief period in Pondicherry and their 
other possessions. 

The second phase opens with the consolidation 
of the British conquest after the final defeat of the 
Marathas in 1813 CE. The British do not allow 



Christian missions to use physical methods. But 
missionary language continues to be as crude as 
ever. Christianity enjoys a brief period of self- 
confidence particularly in Bengal. The phase 
ends with the rise of Hindu reform movements, 
particularly the clarion call given by Maharshi 
Dayananda and Swami Vivekananda. Christianity 
suffers a serious setback. 

The third phase starts with the advent of 
Mahatma Gandhi and his slogan of sarva-dharma- 
samabhAva. Christian missions are thrown on 
the defensive and forced to change their 
language. The foulmouthed miscreants become 
sweet-tongued vipers. Now they are out to “share 
their spiritual riches” with Hindus, reminding us of 
a beggar in dirty rags promising to donate his 
wardrobe to wealthy persons. The phase ended 
with the Tambram Conference of the International 
Missionary Council (IMC) in 1938, which decided 
to reformulate Christian theology in the Indian 
context. 

The fourth phase which commenced with the 
coming of independence proved a boon for 
Christianity. The Christian right to convert Hindus 
was incorporated in the Constitution. Prime 
Minister Jawaharlal Nehru who dominated the 
scene for 17 long years, promoted every anti- 
Hindu ideology and movement behind the 
smokescreen of a counterfeit secularism. The 
regimes that followed continued to raise the 
spectre of ‘Hindu communalism’ as the most 
frightening phenomenon. Christian missionaries 
could now denounce as a Hindu communalist and 
chauvinist, even as a Hindu Nazi, any one who 
raised the slightest objection to their means and 
methods. All sorts of ‘secularists’ came forward 
to join the chorus. New theologies of Fulfilment, 
Indigenisation, Liberation, and Dialogue were 
evolved and put into action. The missionary 
apparatus multiplied fast and became pervasive. 
Christianity had never had it so good in the whole 
of its history in India. It now stood recognized as 
‘an ancient Indian religion’ with every right to 
extend its field of operation and expand its flock. 
The only rift in the lute was K.M. Panikkar’s book, 



Asia and Western Dominance, published from 
London in 1953, the Niyogi Committee Report 
published by the Government of Madhya Pradesh 
in 1956, and Om Prakash Tyagi’s Bill on Freedom 
of Religion introduced in the Lok Sabha in 
December 1978. 

The fifth phase, which is continuing now, started 
with the Hindu awakening brought about by the 
mass conversion of Harijans to Islam at 
Meenakshipuram in Tamil Nadu, renewed Muslim 
aggression in many ways, and Pakistan-backed 
terrorism in Punjab and Kashmir. The Sangh 
Parivar which had turned cold towards Hindu 
causes over the years, was startled by the rout of 
the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 1984 elections 
to the Lok Sabha, and decided to renew its Hindu 
character. The RAmajanmabhUmi Movement 
was the result. The Movement was aimed at 
arresting Islamic aggression. Christianity or its 
missions were hardly mentioned. Nevertheless, it 
was Christian missions which showed the 
greatest concern at this new Hindu stir, and 
started crying ‘wolf. Christian media power in the 
West raised a storm, saying ad nauseum that 
Hindus were out to destroy the minorities in India 
and impose a Nazi regime. The storm is still 
raging and no one knows when it will subside, if at 
all. 


The Constitution of independent India adopted in 
January 1950 made things quite smooth for the 
Christian missions. They surged forward with 
renewed vigour. Nationalist resistance to what 
had been viewed as an imperialist incubus during 
the Struggle for Freedom from British rule, broke 
down when the very leaders who had frowned 
upon it started speaking in its favour. Voices 
which still remained ‘recalcitrant’ were sought to 
be silenced by being branded as those of ‘Hindu 
communalism’. Nehruvian Secularism had stolen 
a march under the smokescreen of Mahatma 
Gandhi’s sarva-dharma-samabhAva 



What was far more favourable to Christian 
missionaries, was the complete collapse of Hindu 
resistance which had been pretty strong during 
the Struggle for Freedom. Mahatma Gandhi had 
raised Jesus to the status of a spiritual giant, and 
Christianity itself to the status of a great religion 
as good as SanAtana Dharma. His mindless 
slogan of sarva-dharma-samabhAva was proving 
to be an effective smokescreen for Christian 
missions to steal a march against Hindu religion, 
society, and culture. In a letter written to C.D. 
Deshmukh on 22 June 1952, Prime Minister 
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said, “Nothing 
amazes me so much as the perversion of well- 
known words and phrases in political and other 
controversies today. I suppose every demagogue 

does it...”- He was blissfully unaware that he 
himself had become the most despicable 
demagogue in India’s hoary history when he 
borrowed the word “secularism” from Western 
political parlance and made it mean the opposite 
of what it had meant when it emerged during the 
European Enlightenment in the eighteenth and 
nineteenth centuries. Secularism in the modern 
West had symbolized a humanist and rationalist 
revolt against the closed creed of Christianity and 
stood for pluralism such as has characterized 
Hinduism down the ages. But Pandit Nehru had 
perverted the word and turned it into a shield for 
protecting every closed creed prevailing in India 
at the dawn of independence in 1947 Islam, 
Christianity, Communism. It is significant that the 
word “secularism” cannot be found anywhere in 
Pandit Nehru’s pre-independence writings and 
utterances of which we have a huge heap. Nor 
was this word used by any one in the Constituent 
Assembly debates which exist in cold print. Even 
in the Constitution of India it was inserted 
arbitrarily by Indira Gandhi during the infamous 
Emergency (1975-77). It was solely due to Pandit 
Nehru’s dishonest demagogy that this word 
became not only the most fashionable but also 
the most profitable political term for every enemy 
of India’s indigenous, society and culture. The 
first Prime Minister of independent India became 
the leader of a Muslim-Christian-Communist 
combine for forcing Hindus and Hinduism first on 


the defensive and then on a run for shelter. Now 
on everything which Hindus held sacred could be 
questioned, ridiculed, despised and insulted. At 
the same time the darkest dogmas of Islam and 
Christianity were not only placed beyond the pale 
of discussions but also invested with divinity so 
that anyone who asked any inconvenient 
questions about them invited the attention of laws 
which were made more and more punitive. It is, 
therefore, no exaggeration to say that the 
“architect of modern India” was no more than a 
combined embodiment of all imperialist ideologies 
which had flocked to this ancient land in the 
company of alien invaders Islam, Christianity, 
White Man’s Burden, and Communism. 

Small wonder that the Prime Minister of India 
should issue the following command to Chief 
Ministers of all States in his circular letter dated 
17 October 1952: 

I have sometimes received 
complaints from Christian missions 
and missionaries both foreign and 
Indian, about the differential 
treatment accorded to them in 
certain States. It is said that there 
is some kind of harassment also 
occasionally. Some instances of 
this kind have come to my notice. I 
hope that your Government will 
take particular care that there is no 
such discrimination, much less 
harassment. I know that there is a 
hangover still of the old prejudice 
against Christian missions and 
missionaries. In the old days many 
of them except in the far south, 
where they were indigenous, 
represented the foreign power and 
sometimes even acted more or less 
as its agents. I know also that some 
of them in the north-east 
encouraged separatist and 
disruptive movements. That phase 
is over. If any person, foreigner or 
Indian, behaves in that way still 



certainly we should take suitable 
action. But remember that 
Christianity is a religion of large 
numbers of people in India and that 
it came to the south of India nearly 
2000 years ago. It is as much a 
part of the Indian scene, as any 
other religion. Our policy of 
religious neutrality and protection of 
minorities must not be affected or 
sullied by discriminatory treatment 
or harassment. While Christian 
missionaries have sometimes 
behaved objectionably from the 
political point of view, they have 
undoubtedly done great service to 
India in the social field and they 
continue to give that service. In the 
tribal areas many of them have 
devoted their lives to the tribes 
there. I wish that there were 
Indians who were willing to serve 
the tribal folk in this way. I know 
that there are some Indians now 
who are doing this, but I would like 
more of them to do so. It must be 
remembered that the Christian 
community, by and large, is poor 
and is sometimes on the level of the 
backward or depressed classes. 

We permit, by our Constitution, not 
only freedom of conscience and 
belief but also proselytism. 
Personally I do not like proselytism 
and it is rather opposed to the old 
Indian outlook which is, in this 
matter, one of live and let live. But I 
do not want to come in other 
people’s ways provided they are not 
objectionable in some other sense. 
In particular, I would welcome any 
form of real social service by 
anyone, missionary or not. A 
question arises, however, how far 
we should encourage foreigners to 
come here for purely evangelical 



work. Often these foreign countries 
raise funds on the plea of 
converting the savage heathens. I 
do no want anyone to come here 
who looks upon me as a savage 
heathen, not that I mind being 
called a heathen or a pagan by 
anybody. But I do not want any 
foreigner to come who looks down 
upon us or who speaks about us in 
their own countries in terms of 
contempt. But if any foreigner 
wants to come here for social 

service, I would welcome him.- 

A footnote to this letter informs us that “On 
October 1952, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur drew 
Nehru’s attention to complaints of such treatment 
of Christian missionaries in Bihar and Madhya 
Pradesh”. Had Pandit Nehru been an Indian and 
a patriot, he would have referred Rajkumari Amrit 
Kaur to the Chief Ministers of Bihar and Madhya 
Pradesh before taking up the matter himself. But 
being the man he was a coolie carrying the White 
Man’s Burden an allegation from a mouthpiece of 
Christian missions was sufficient for him to rush 
with a reprimand to the Chief Ministers of all 
States only a week after his ear was poisoned. 
There was no complaint regarding maltreatment 
of Christian missions from the rest of the States, 
yet he felt called upon to raise a general alarm. 

He not only anticipated all possible objections 
which he thought could be made against missions 
and missionary activities, he also tried his best to 
blunt those objections in his usual “if” and “but” 
way. The worst part of it all was that he repeated 
the Big Lie that Christianity was 2000 years old in 
India as, according to him, it was brought to India 
by St. Thomas in the first century of the Christian 
era. Even when he had told that story to his 
daughter in April 1932 in one of his schoolboyish 
essays which now pass as solid history, Christian 
historians had been debating for years whether a 
man called St. Thomas was a historical figure or a 
figment of theological speculation, and whether 
he ever came to South India. But Pandit Nehru 
who fancied himself as a great historian and was 


hailed as such by all sorts of fools and knaves 
around the world, had swallowed the story as 
soon as he heard it and kept on spreading it. 

The followers of Mahatma Gandhi were the first to 
forget what their Master had said repeatedly on 
the subject of proselytization, namely, that it was 
“the deadliest poison which ever sapped the 
fountain of truth”. Some of them found berths in 
the new power setup, and fell in line with Pandit 
Nehru. Some others who felt frustrated in the 
new situation for one reason or the other became 
fascinated by Mao-tse Tung and started seeing 
the Mahatma reincarnated in Red China. 
Constructive workers of the Gandhian movement 
gave priority to economic programmes and 
sidelined all social and cultural problems. A new 
breed of ‘Gandhians’ became busy -floating 
Voluntary Agencies and looking forward to being 
funded by Western Foundations. Some of these 
Foundations were avowedly dedicated to 
promoting only Christian causes. Small wonder 
that the ‘Gandhians’ became, in due course, 
active or passive accomplices of the Christian 
missions. 

The worst crisis, however, overtook those who 
became known as Hindu leaders in post¬ 
independence India. So long as the Mahatma 
was alive they had prospered by accusing him of 
promoting ‘Muslim and Christian causes’ at the 
cost of ‘Hindu interests’. Now that he was no 
more, they did not really know what to do. Some 
of them continued to live in the past, deriving 
satisfaction from cursing the Mahatma for 
misleading the country for all time to come. 

Others revised their attitude towards him, but they 
did so more out of convenience than conviction. 
Sarva-dharma-samabhAva acquired a new 
meaning for them also. Criticism of Christian 
dogmas became a ‘negative’ approach. The 
‘positive’ approach, they started saying, should 
match the Christian missionary effort in the fields 
of education, medicine and social services. It did 
not occur to them that Hindu society being poor 
and bereft of a State of its own, was in no position 
to run the race. The ‘positive’ approach thus 



became, for all practical purposes, an excuse for 
not facing the problem of Christian subversion at 
all. 

The bright sunshine in which Christian missions 
started basking can be reported best in the words 
of a Jesuit missionary. “The Indian Church,” 
writes Plattner, “has reason to be glad that the 
Constitution of the country guarantees her an 
atmosphere of freedom and equality with other 
much stronger religious communities. Under the 
protection of this guarantee she is able, ever 
since independence, not only to carry on but to 
increase and develop her activity as never before 

without serious hindrance or anxiety.” The 
number of foreign missionaries registered an 
unprecedented increase. “One must admit,” 
continues Plattner, “that the number of 
missionaries who came to India soon after 
independence had perceptibly increased. During 
the war years very few of them ever reached 
India. So a kind of surplus was building in Europe 
with corresponding lack of personnel in India... At 
the same time the Communists were expelling 
thousands of missionaries mainly members of the 
American sects from China. Some of them were 
then transferred to India but not all of them could 

adapt themselves to Indian conditions.”- 

Far more foreboding than this forward march of 
the Christian missions, however, was the fact that 
they were able to take in their stride two serious 
exposures of their character and activities made 
during the fifties. The first jolt they received was 
from the above-mentioned book by K. M. 

Panikkar published in 1953. The second was the 
publication, in 1956, of the Niyogi Committee’s 
report on Christian missionary activities in 
Madhya Pradesh. The powers that be the 
Government, the political parties, the national 
press, and the intellectual elite either protected 
the missions for one reason or the other or shied 
away from studying and discussing the exposures 
publicly for fear of being accused of ‘Hindu 
communalism’, the ultimate swearword in the 
armoury of Nehruvian Secularism. 


Thus howsoever serious the flutter which these 
exposures caused inside missionary dovecotes, 
the atmosphere outside continued to be 
favourable for them. Of course, ‘narrow minded 
and fanatical Hindu communalists’ provided some 
pen-pricks off and on. But they came to nothing 
in every instance. “The question was raised in 
Parliament,” narrates Plattner, “as to whether the 
right to propagate religion was applicable only to 
Indian citizens or also to foreigners residing in 
India, for example, the missionaries. In March 
1954, the Supreme Court of India expressed its 
opinion that this right was a fundamental one 
firmly established in the Constitution and thus 
applied to everyone citizen and non-citizen alike 
who enjoyed the protection of India’s laws. With 
this explanation the missionaries were expressly 
authorised to spread the faith, thus fulfilling the 

task entrusted to them by the Church. 

In 1955, a Bill came before India’s Parliament 
“which if passed would have seriously 
handicapped the work of Christian missionaries”, 
because it “provided for a strict system of 
regulating conversions”. The issue was 
conversions brought about by force, fraud or 
material inducements. But no less a person than 
the Prime Minister of India, Pandit Nehru, came to 
the rescue of Christian missions and persuaded 
the Parliament to throw out the Bill. “I fear that 
this Bill,” said Pandit Nehru, “will not help very 
much in suppressing evil methods but might very 
well be the cause of great harassment to a large 
number of people. We should deal with those 
evils on a different plane, in other ways, not in this 
way which may give rise to other ways of 
coercion. Christianity is one of the important 
religions of India, established here for nearly two 
thousand years. We must not do anything which 
gives rise to any feeling of oppression or 
suppression in the minds of our Christian friends 

and fellow-countrymen. 

The signing of the defence pact between the U.S. 
A. and Pakistan in 1954 had, however, made the 
Government of India somewhat strict about 


granting of visas to foreign, particularly American, 
missionaries. “The Catholic Bishops of India,” 
writes Plattner, “found it very difficult to reconcile 
themselves to this new turn of affairs, which they 
considered highly unpleasant and unjustifiable. In 
March 1955 a delegation under the leadership of 
Cardinal Gracias of Bombay requested an 
interview with Prime Minister Nehru and Home 
Minister Pandit [Govind Ballabh] Pant, who had 

succeeded Dr, [Kailash Nath] Katju.”- Pandit 
Nehru, according to the Secretary of the Catholic 
Bishops’ Conference of India, was “sympathetic 
but pointed out that the problem was political and 
national, not religious”. Pandit Pant, on the other 
hand, gave a practical advice which proved very 
helpful to Christian missions in the long run. “He 
could not understand,” continues Plattner, “why 
the Catholic Church, which had a long and 
historic existence in the country, had not 
succeeded in training Indian priests and 
professors for seminaries. The interview helped 
us to realise that in every sphere we have to 
recruit locally and train selected candidates for 

responsible positions.” The Home Minister of 
India, it seems, had no objection to the sale of a 
narcotic provided the vendors were native. Nor 
did he see any danger in the spread of a network 
financed and controlled completely from abroad. 
The lesson that the East India Company had 
subjugated the country by training and employing 
native mercenaries, had not been learnt. 

Another Bill was introduced in the Parliament in 
1960 for protecting Scheduled Castes and Tribes 
“from change of religion forced on them on 
grounds other than religious convictions”. It was 
also thrown out because of resistance from the 
ruling Congress Party. “It was rejected,” records 
Plattner, “after Mr. [B.N.] Datar declared in no 
uncertain terms that it was unconstitutional and 
that there were no mass conversions as alleged 
by the mover.” The Minister went much 
further. “They were carrying on,” he said, 

“Christ’s mission by placing themselves at the 
service of mankind and such work was one of 
their greatest contributions to the world.” He 
credited Christian missionaries with “the uplift of a 


large number of downtrodden people through 
their schools and social work.”— 

“This attitude of Nehru and his government,” 
concluded Plattner, “has inspired the Christians 

with confidence in the Indian Constitution.”— 
Nehru had “remained true to his British 

upbringing.”— Small wonder that the Catholic 
Bishops’ Conference of India became quite 
optimistic about the future. “With the Indian 
Hierarchy well established,” it proclaimed in 
September 1960, “and the recruitment of the 
clergy fairly assured, it may be said that the 
Church in India has reached its maturity and has 
achieved the first part of its missionary 
programme. The time seems to have come to 
face squarely the Church’s next and more 
formidable duty: the conversion of the masses of 

India”— 


IV 

There were good grounds for this optimism. 
Conversions to Christianity were on the increase 
as was soon indicated by the Census of 1971. “In 
India as a whole,” wrote a Christian historian, F.S. 
Downs, “the Christian population increased by 
64.9% between 1951 and 1971. This may be 
compared with a general population increase of 
51.7% during the same period. In North East 
India the Christian population increased by 
171.1% during the same period, compared with a 
general population growth in that region of 
116.5%. Even these figures do not give the full 
picture because in 1971,74.7% of the total North 
East India population was in Assam where the 
growth of the Christian community is the lowest. 

In the 1961-71 decade alone the growth of the 
Christian community in states and territories other 
than Assam was as follows: 


State 

Percentage 
Growth of 
Christians 

Percentage 
Growth of 
General 
Population 

Nagaland 

76.29% 

39.88% 

Meghalaya 

75.43% 

31.55% 

Manipur 

83.66% 

37.33% 

Tripura 

56.52% 

36.28% 


In the 1951-1971 period, the Christian growth in 
Nagaland was 251.6%, and in Tripura 298.6% 

... According to the Census of 1901 Christians in 
the North East constituted 1.23% of the whole, by 
1951 the proportion was 7.8% and in 1971, 

12.5%. North East India now had 39.8% of the 

non-southern Christian population.”— 

Downs has not given figures for Mizoram, the 
Lushai Hills District of Assam, which was raised to 
the status of a State in 1987. The Christian 
population in this area had risen from 0.05% of 
the total population in 1901 to 80.31 % in 1951 
due to the efforts of Protestant missions. In 
1971, Christianity came to claim 86.09%. As 
against the general growth rate of 34.69% 
between 1951 and 1961 and 24.69 percent 
between 1961 and 1971, the growth rate of 
Christian population had been 46% and 25% for 

the two decades respectively.— 

A major part of this rich harvest in this region had 
been reaped by the Catholic Church. “Without 
question,” continued Downs, “the most important 
postwar development has been the rapid 
expansion of the Roman Catholic Church. At the 
beginning of the war there were but 50,000 
Catholics in the region; in 1977 there were 
369,681. In part this was due to an extraordinary 
expenditure of resources both in terms of money 
and missionary personnel, including personnel 
brought in from other parts of India. But it was 
due also to the removal after independence of the 
restrictions the British had placed upon Catholic 










1 fi 

missions.”— 


This spate of conversions could be traced directly 
to the expansion of Catholic education. “The 
growth of Catholic educational programme in the 
North East,” noted the historian, “was certainly 
phenomenal. While in 1935 they were operating 
299 primary schools, 9 middle and high schools, 
and 2 colleges, by 1951 the numbers had 
increased to 591,65 and 2 respectively. By 1977 
there were 744 primary schools, 63 middle and 
high schools (a slight decrease) and 4 colleges... 
Altogether there were 811 educational institutions 

with 79, 891 students.”— 

The North East region reflected the expansion of 
Catholic education in the country as a whole. 

“The dawn of independence,” wrote the Catholic 
educationist, T. A. Mathias, in 1971, “is a 
landmark in the development of Christian 
educational work in this country. Since 1947 
there has been a fantastic expansion in the 
number of Christian institutions, chiefly among the 
Roman Catholics. Colleges have gone up from 
42 to 114 and secondary schools from 500 to 
1,200. The Catholic Directory, 1969, gives fairly 
accurate statistics for Catholic educational work. 
There are now 6000 elementary schools, 1200 
secondary schools, 114 colleges, and 80 

specialised institutions.”— 

The Catholic Directory of India 1984, reported a 
still more phenomenal growth. The number of 
kindergarten (elementary schools) in 1981 had 
reached 2,550, the number of primary schools 
6,183 and the number of secondary schools 
2,986. The Directory does not give the number of 
colleges and specialized institutions, though it 
tells us that 1,141,787 students were studying in 
Catholic colleges and 35,519 in institutes for other 
studies. 

The Catholic educational network, however, 
represents only a part of the Catholic apparatus, 
though it is the most important from the 
missionary point of view. It alienates Hindu young 


men and women from their ancestral culture or at 
least neutralises them against missionary inroads 
if it does not incline them positively towards the 
promotion of Christianity. Schools at the lower 
levels and in rural and tribal areas win converts 
directly by forgoing tuition fees, providing free 
textbooks and stationery etc., housing students 
freely in hostels, and giving free meals to day 
scholars. Colleges provide many recruits to the 
higher echelons in government services besides 
executives in business houses. Most of them 
look quite favourably at the ‘humanitarian services 
which Hindus have neglected’. Big sums flow into 
the coffers of the Catholic missions from bribes 
given by neo-rich Hindu parents looking forward 
to their children speaking English in the ‘proper 
accent’. Convent educated girls are in great 
demand in the Hindu marriage market. 

By 1995 this educational network had become 
powerful enough to be used as a political weapon 
as well. The New Delhi edition of the Indian 
Express flashed on 22 November 1995 the 
following report datelined New Delhi. Nov. 21, 
1995: “More than 10,000 Christian schools and 
240 Christian colleges in different parts of the 
country remained closed today in support of the 
demand for extension of Scheduled Caste 
benefits to Dalit Christians. The decisions to keep 
these institutions closed was taken by the 
National Coordination Committee for Scheduled 
Caste Christians and the Catholic Bishops 
Conference of India (CBCI).” In October- 
November 1997, these institutions were again 
used as a political weapon in order to pressurize 
the Government of Bihar for release of a Jesuit 
priest who was arrested by the police for 
sodomizing a tribal boy in a school in Dumka 
where the Jesuit happened to be a teacher. 

The other part of the apparatus comprises what 
are known as medical, social, and humanitarian 
service agencies. In 1984 the Catholic missions 
maintained 615 hospitals, 1529 dispensaries, 221 
leprosaria, 309 homes for the aged and the 
handicapped, 1,233 orphanages and 1,271 
centres for training people in various crafts and 



skills. That is also where work of conversion is 
carried on openly. These services are free or 
very cheap for those who show readiness to 
embrace ‘the only true faith’. For others, they are 
quite expensive, particularly the hospitals 
furnished with imported equipment of the latest 
kind. 

This apparatus was spread in 1984 over 17,288 
mission stations and manned by 49,956 religious 
women, 4,993 religious priests and 2,801 
religious men other than priests. The missionary 
personnel was grouped in 167 congregations of 
sisters, 39 congregations of priests and 19 
congregations of brothers. The sisters functioned 
from more than 4000 houses maintained in 
different parts of the country by a personnel of 
more than 56,000. Corresponding figures for 
priests came to more than 700 houses and a 
personnel of nearly 14,000, and for brothers it 
was nearly 200 houses with a personnel of more 
than 2,000. Besides, there were 14 secular 
institutes with nearly 30 houses and a personnel 
of nearly 400. A majority of these congregations 
had their headquarters abroad 97 of sisters, 25 of 
priests, 8 of brothers. Though they recruited their 
personnel for the most part from India, their 
control was completely in the hands of 
establishments abroad. As many as 26,541 
catechists were in the field for netting new birds 
and making them cram the Catholic creed. 

There was a corresponding expansion of what is 
called the Catholic Hierarchy which the Pope had 
taken over, partly from the Portuguese, in 1886. 
The Hierarchy had grown apace till 1947 when it 
had 10 Archdioceses and 35 Dioceses. By 1984, 
a period of only 37 years, the number of 
Archdioceses had almost doubled to 19 and that 
of Dioceses more than trebled to 110. A record 
increase of 18 Dioceses in a single year took 
place in 1977-78 when the Janata Party was in 
power. Six of these were created in the sensitive 
areas of Madhya Pradesh where the State 
Government had stalled expansion of the 
Hierarchy after the Niyogi Committee Report on 
Christian missions had laid bare the missionary 



mischief in 1956. The Government of Madhya 
Pradesh in 1977, it may be noted, was dominated 
by the erstwhile Jana Sangh component of the 

Janata Party.— 

The Hierarchy presided over 5,159 parishes and 
quasiparishes grouped in 110 ecclesiastical 
territories and manned by 7,058 diocesan priests. 
The Directory gives the Latin names of Bulls and 
Decrees proclaimed by the Pope while creating 
new Dioceses and Archdioceses and appointing 
Bishops and Archbishops on advice from his 
Nuncio in New Delhi. Neither the government of 
India nor any State Government has ever been 
consulted in the matter. In 1974, Prime Minister 
Indira Gandhi had started negotiations for a Pre- 
Notification Treaty with the Vatican but the Pope 
had stalled them on one excuse or the other. The 
Janata Party dropped even the negotiations when 
it came to power in 1977. The Pope was thus 
free to continue carving out a State within the 
State. 

In addition, the Catholic apparatus controlled 
some 150 printing presses and more than 200 
periodicals in English and Indian 
languages. Around 350 seminaries of all sorts 
were busy training missionaries, priests and other 
specialised functionaries for its missions. The 
number of students in these seminaries was 
2,125 in 1984. In the same year, 3,528 persons 
turned out by these seminaries were candidates 

for religious priesthood.— 

The Catholic Dictionary of India, 1994, provides 
“data computed from the information sent in by 
Dioceses, from the Statistical Year Book of the 
Church 1987 and from CRI Directory 1990”. The 
number of kindergarten and nursery schools had 
risen to 7,319, that of primary schools to 7,319 
and of secondary schools to 3,765. This time the 
number of colleges is given as 240 with 213,392 
students. The number of technical and training 
schools (i.e. specialized institutions) is not given 
but the number of students is noted as 1,514. 
Some educational institutions had hostels and 


boarding houses attached to them with 1,765 
inmates. 

The medical and social welfare agencies in 1994 
comprised 704 hospitals, 1,792 dispensaries and 
health centres, 1085 orphanages, 228 creches, 

111 leprosaria, 102 rehabilitation centres and 455 
homes for the aged, destitutes and handicapped. 

The number of mission stations had gone up to 
17,467 manned by 6,451 religious priests, 1,584 
religious brothers, and 62,283 sisters. The 
number of religious men other than priests is not 
given, nor of the catechists in the field. This 
religious personnel was grouped in 43 
congregations of priests, 17 of brothers and 190 
of sisters. At another place (p. 1147) the 
Directory for 1994 provides another table of 
“Religious of India Today”. According to this table 
there were 45 congregations of priests with 108 
major superiors, 12,787 priests, 1,117 novices 
and 4,984 candidates; 16 congregations of 
brothers with 30 major superiors, 1,652 brothers, 
221 novices and 543 candidates; and 202 
congregations of sisters, with 378 major 
superiors, 67,375 sisters, 4,849 novices and 
8,783 candidates. Besides, there were 44 
cloistered congregations with 711 inmates, 60 
novices and 82 candidates spread over 11 
regional and 101 local units. The actual number 
of religious congregations listed in detail in this 
Directory, however, is 56 for priests, 19 for 
brothers, 224 for sisters, and 6 for cloistered 
sisters. It seems that “India Today” refers to 
some year earlier than 1994. The number of 
houses from which these congregations function 
and the personnel which maintains them is not 
given, nor the number of secular institutes with 
their houses and personnel. 

And as in 1984, in 1994 also most of the religious 
congregations had their headquarters abroad. Of 
the 56 congregations of priests, 30 had their 
headquarters in Italy, 3 in France, and 1 each in 
England and Switzerland. Of the rest, 10 
represented foreign congregations with only 
provinces and delegates in India. In the case of 



sisters, 61 congregations had their headquarters 
in Italy, 19 in France, 11 in Germany, 6 in Spain, 

5 in Switzerland, 4 in Belgium, 2 each in England 
and the USA, and 1 each in Austria, Holland, 
Ireland, Pakistan, Portugal and Sri Lanka. Of the 
rest, 21 represented foreign congregations with 
provincials and delegates, and 2 were mixed, that 
is, foreign congregations in collaboration with 
Indian ones. Of the 6 congregations of cloistered 
sisters, 4 had their headquarters abroad 
Germany, Italy, England and France. Coming to 
brothers, 7 congregations had their headquarters 
in Italy and 1 each in England and Ireland. 

Of course, some religious congregations had their 
headquarters in India 11 in the case of priests, 86 
in the case of sisters, and 10 in the case of 
brothers. But that was only the form. In 
substance these congregations also derived their 
inspiration from prototypes abroad, or were 
patterned after them. In any case, most of these 
“Indian” congregations, like the others, were 
named after Christian saints who had nothing to 
do with India and most of whom were criminals or 
crusaders against infidels, which category has 

always included Hindus.— Or they, like their 
foreign-based companions, flaunted pompous or 
pretentious names derived from Christian 
Theology Blessed Sacrament, Mary Immaculate, 
Immaculate Heart, Passion of Jesus Christ, 
Immaculate Conception, Holy Cross, Holy Spirit, 
Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Catholic 
Apostolate, Most Holy Redeemer, Precious 
Blood, Divine Word, Most Holy Trinity, 
Assumption, Most Holy Saviour, Charity of Jesus 
and Mary, Providence of Gap, Divine Providence, 
Our Lady of Fatima, Good Shepherd, Christ the 
King, Our Lady of Graces and Compassion, Holy 
Family, Blessed Virgin, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, 
Mary Mediatrix, Incarnation, Our Lady of the 
Missions, Divine Master, Queen of Apostolates, 
Mother of Sorrows, Maria Auxilium, Redemption, 
Divine Saviour, Visitation of the Blessed Virgin 
Mary, Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration, etc. The 
whole of this quaint jargon is alien to India not 
only in language but also in spirit. 


The most significant point about this part of the 
apparatus is the marked increase in the number 
of religious sisters. Their number had grown from 
45,286 to 46,168 in 1977, 48,466 in 1978, 49,657 
in 1979 and 50,936 in 1980. But as per the 1994 
Directory the number stood at 62,283 (p. LX) or 
67,375 (p. 1147). The number of Religious 
Priests, on the other hand had grown from 4,655 
in 1976, 4,638 in 1977, 4,695 in 1979, 4,943 in 
1981 to 6,451 (p. LX) or 12,787 (p. 1147) in 
1994. The explanation for expansion of religious 
sisters is provided by a document Trends and 
Issues in Evangelization in India’ published by the 
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India in 1994. It 
proclaims that “Women Religious will play more 

decisive role in the missions”— We can foresee 
an accelerating increasing in the number of 
sisters in the years to come. 

It may be pointed out that notwithstanding the 
pompous words ‘evangelization’ and ‘mission’ 
used, the reality regarding these religious sisters 
has been and remains quite ugly. An 
overwhelming majority of them are girls either 
raised in Catholic orphanages or bought for a 
pittance from poor families and brainwashed to 
believe that they have become ‘brides of Jesus 
Christ’ by taking ‘holy orders’. They are crowded 
into convents or cloistered, made to live a life of 
deprivation, and used as slave labour in the 
hospitals and social welfare institutions of the 
missions. The late lamented Mother Teresa had 
presided for long over a network of these female 
slaves the Sister of Charity. The network 
continues and may grow unless it attracts the 
attention of some champions of human 
rights. These unfortunate girls are also exported 
to Europe and the USA where females are no 
more coming forward to fill the convents. There 
are some other uses to which these ‘brides of 
Jesus Christ’ are put quite frequently. We refer 
the readers interested to documented studies on 

the subject.— 

The Catholic Hierarchy according to the 1994 
Directory had 2 Cardinals, 19 Archdioceses, 1.26 


Dioceses, and 6,277 parishes and quasiparishes, 
manned by 8,621 diocesan priests and 4,419 
scholastics in clerical orders. It had 7 theological 
institutes, and 560 major and minor seminaries 
employing 6,310 seminarians. Besides, the 
Catholic Church owns 169 printing presses and 
238 newspapers and periodicals in English and 
Indian languages. There are quite a few 
bookshops in different cities selling literature 
churned out by Catholic scribes in India and 
abroad. 

This whole apparatus in India is presided over by 
the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) 
housed in a huge mansion in New Delhi and 
staffed by specialists from various fields. The 
CBCI has 5 standing committees, and 11 
commissions for social communication; 
ecumenism and dialogue; justice, development 
and peace; education and culture, schedule 
castes/tribes and backward classes; clergy and 
religious; laity; youth; labour; health; and 
doctrine. Two special commissions look after 
evangelization and inter-ritual matters. Each 
commission is assisted by a number of 
organisations and bodies drawn from the 
commission’s specialized fields. Its commands 
are carried out by 12 regional councils, 20 
national organisations and 13 major associations. 

And this leviathan is controlled by the Pope in 
Rome through his Nuncio in New Delhi. For all 
practical purposes, it is a State within the State. 
The tyrannies that take place within this prison- 
house are never mentioned in the Indian media, 
not to speak of being investigated. 

We have not been able to obtain and analyse 
corresponding data regarding the expansion of 
the Protestant missions and churches. They 
stopped publishing consolidated figures quite 
some time ago. It can, however, be safely 
assumed that there has been a considerable 
expansion of the Protestant apparatus as well, 
though it might not have been as phenomenal as 
the Catholic. Missions from or financed by the U. 
S.A. and West Germany, we are told, have 



become particularly prosperous and are active 
over wider fields. 

The cost of maintaining and expanding this huge 
missionary apparatus, Catholic and Protestant, 
should be considerable though it is kept a closely 
guarded secret by the missions and churches in 
India. The budgets for maintaining missions and 
church hierarchies are never made public. Not 
even a hint is available in Christian publications 
regarding how much money is received and from 
where. The Christian community in India is too 
poor to maintain this colossal and expensive 
edifice, not to speak of financing its widespread 
and multifarious operations. The logical 
conclusion that the apparatus is financed almost 
entirely from abroad, is confirmed by the budgets 
published by controllers of missions in Europe 
and America. A publication house in New Delhi 
has reprinted in 1996 A History of the Welsh 
Calvinistic Methodists Foreign Missions, To the 
End of 1904. Operating in Khasia and Jaintia 
Hills (present-day Meghalaya), this mission spent 
£2,188 between May 1841 and December 1904 
(p. 308). Figures of foreign remittances to 
Christian organisations are also made known by 
the Government of India from time to time. “One 
billion dollars,” says a recent and reliable report, 
“that is how much American Protestant Christian 
organisations spent last year [19881 trying to gain 
conversions from other religions, and the Catholic 
Church spent an equal amount. According to 
official Indian government reports US dollars 165 
millions is sent to Christian missions in India each 

year.”— This represents a staggering increase on 
the amount of foreign remittances noted by the 
Niyogi Committee for the period from January 

1950 to June 1954.^ 

Thus it can be maintained no longer that the 
Portuguese and British imperialists alone were 
responsible for the expansion of Christianity in 
India. The native Indian rulers have proved far 
more helpful to the Christian missions. They have 
provided constitutional protection to Christian 
propaganda. They have made it possible for the 


missions to enter into areas from where the 
British had kept them out. What is most 
important, in the years since independence 
Christianity has come to acquire a prestige which 
it had enjoyed never before in this country. 

It cannot be said that the country has not faced 
problems created by Christian missions. 

Converts to Christianity in the North East and 
Central India have constantly, evinced separatist 
and secessionist tendencies. The Government of 
India has recognised the mischief potential of 
Christian missions by expelling from the country 
several well known missionaries who were found 
fomenting political unrest and promoting 
violence. But the larger lesson that Christian 
missions in general mean no good and much 
mischief to the country and its culture, has yet to 
be learnt. 

Even before independence, some Christian 
missionaries had ganged up with the Muslim 
League and floated the scheme of a sovereign 
Christian State composed of tribal areas in the 
North East and Central India. The two enclaves 
were to be linked together by a corridor passing 
through Bengal and Bihar. The Nizam of 
Hyderabad was expected to provide another 
corridor towards Christian populations in the 
Madras Presidency (now Andhra Pradesh and 
Tamil Nadu) and the princely states of Travancore 
and Cochin (now Kerala). It was hoped that, in 
due course, these Christian populations would 
gravitate towards the sovereign Christian State 
and provide access to the Christian world outside 
via the Coromandal and Malabar coasts. The 
movement for an independent Travancore had 
drawn enthusiastic support from the local 
Christians. Cochin was expected to follow suit. 

After independence, the hand of Christian 
missions has been manifest in violent 
secessionist uprisings in Nagaland, Mizoram, 
Manipur and Tripura. Christian missions in these 
areas have not been loathe to join hands with the 
Communists who have pursued the same aim in 
cooperation with Red China. It has cost India 



vast sums of money for meeting the menace 
militarily. Thousands of lives have been lost. And 
the fires lighted by the Christian missionaries are 
still burning or smouldering under the surface in 
spite of concessions made in the shape of several 
Christian majority States. 

Meanwhile, the Christian sponsored agitation for 
a separate State of Jharkhand has been gaining 
strength. “A secret report of Intelligence Bureau,” 
according to the Indian Express of January 13, 
1989, “has claimed that some voluntary 
organisations who received foreign contributions 
had been ‘covertly’ helping the Jharkhand 
movement for a separate state comprising 21 
districts of Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa. The 
organisations named by the report are: The 
Willian Carey Study and Research Centre 
(WCSRC), the Christian Institution for Study of 
Religion and Science (CISRC), the Liberal 
Association for the Movement of People (LAMP), 
the Gana Unnayan Parishad (GUP), and the 
Indian People’s Welfare Society (IPWS). The 
Forum for the Concerned Rural Journalists 
(FCRJ) with its registered office at Jhargram, was 
also said to be a recipient of subsidy from 
WCSRC and CISRC.” 

Some of the foreign organisations from which 
finances flow to these “voluntary organizations” in 
India have also been named. “According to the 
report GUP, WCSRC etc., had been getting 
foreign contributions from several foreign 
agencies including ‘EZE, ECCO and AGKED 
(West Germany), NAVIB Foundation 
(Netherlands). Swedish International 
Development Agency (SIDA), World Council of 
Churches (Geneva) and Bread for the World’.” 

The “voluntary organisations” know how to get 
around the laws of the land for serving their 
subterranean purposes. “These organisations, 
the report said, had their own techniques for 
circumventing Government regulations. The 
organisations receiving foreign contributions 
registered themselves with the Central 
Government, maintained an account of foreign 



contributions and kept records about the purpose 
and manner of utilisation of funds. But, while the 
annual returns of these organisations to the 
Reserve Bank of India showed that the money 
was spent on cultural, economic, educational, 
religious and social programmes, in reality, the 
report claimed, much less amount than that 
claimed in the returns was actually spent on the 
programmes, with the rest being either 
‘misappropriated’ or ‘clandestinely donated to 
designing organisations and elements to further 
their ulterior objectives’.” 

They also play hide and seek with the law 
enforcement agencies of the Government. “They 
operate in cooperation with many other voluntary 
organisations. If one particular organisation 
comes to adverse notice it floats some other 
cover, and front organisations maintain close 
liason with organisations which have not come 
under the cloud. GUP and IPWS had thus been 
floated by the WCRSC and LAMP... WCSRC had 
been reportedly giving monetary help to the 
Jharkhand Coordination Committee, a common 
front with 49 cultural and political groups and 
mass organisations formed to give a new pitch to 
the Jharkhand movement... The organisation, the 
report said, encouraged ‘struggles of working 
people, women, tribals, dalits, oppressed and 
children’ of the Jharkhand region ‘inciting’ the 
organisations for a separate Jharkhand state.” 

Such a report in a leading national daily called for 
some comments from leaders of the nation, if not 
questions in Parliament. But it was not even 
noticed, least of all by those who pass as Hindu 
leaders, not to speak of politicians who swear by 
Secularism. The only response it elicited was 
some letters of protest from the functionaries of 
Christian organisations. In the letters-to-the- 
editor column of the daily they denounced the 
report as concocted. The editor maintained that 
the report emanated from reliable and responsible 
quarters. That was the end of the matter. The 
Christian missions in India had not a worry in the 
world except that caused by their own theological 
quibbles. 



Footnotes: 


iSita Ram Goel, Defence of Hindu Society, 
Third revised edition, Voice of India, New 
Delhi, 1994. 

^Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru., 
Second Series, Volume 18, New Delhi, 
1996, p. 661. 

3|bid., Volume 19, New Delhi, 1996, pp. 
733-34. See also Volume 21, pp. 365-66. 

^Felix Alfred Planner, The Catholic Church 
in India: Yesterday and Today, Allahabad, 
1964, p. 6. Emphasis added. 

^Ibid., p. 10. 


6|bid., pp. 6-7. 


^Quoted in Ibid., p. 7. Emphasis added. 
There is no record that Pandit Nehru ever 
gave any thought to the ‘different plane’ or 
‘other ways’ of dealing with ‘those evils’. It 
remained his life-long privilege “to talk 
vaguely and generally about things in 
general,” as he himself had said. His 
patent way of showing disapproval was to 
talk of a ‘different plane’ and ‘other ways’. 
Those who understood his language took 
the hint and fell in line. It ‘nay also be 
noted that he again repeats the story of 
Christianity being 2000 year old in India. 

^Christians were unhappy with Dr. Katju 
because in April 1953 he had made a 
statement in Parliament that “for a long 
time he had been in possession of 
information about questionable 
proselytising activities of missionaries in 
Central India” (Ibid., p. 10). 


9|bid„ p. 12. 


lOlbid., pp. 7-8. 

Hlbid., p. 8. 

12|bid., p. 9. 

19lbid., p. 134. Emphasis added. 

14F.S. Downs, Christianity in North East 
India: Historical Perspectives, Gauhati, 
1983, pp. 3-4. 


15C.L. Himinga, The Life and Witness of 
the Churches in Mizoram, Serkwan. 1987, 
P-9. 

l^F.S. Downs, op. cit., pp. 151-52. 
Emphasis added. 

17|bid., p. 154. 

i^Quoted in Ibid., P. 153. 

19| tried to find out from various bigwigs of 
the then Janata Party including the then 
Prime Minister Morarji Desai, the reason 
for this sudden spurt. I drew a blank. No 
one was even aware that this had 
happened. The Catholic Church alone 
knows and can reveal the secret. 

29For full details, See Sita Run Goel, 
Papacy: Its Doctrine and History, New 
Delhi, 1986. It is a Voice of India 
publication. 

91|n order to understand the character of 
Christian saints, one has to study the 
Processes which were compiled in order to 
qualify them for canonization. 


22Arun Shourie, Missionaries in India, New 
Delhi, 1994, Annexure 1, p. 251. 

^Voice of India has recently (1997) 
reprinted one of these studies, Women, 
Church and State by Matilda Joslyn Gage, 
first published in the USA in 1893. 

24The Big Business of Evangelisation’, 
Hinduism Today, February 1989. As 
always, this article too is based on wide- 
ranging research. 

25See Volume I, p. 96 of the Niyogi 
Committee Report reprinted in Section II. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 






TWO 


RIFT IN THE LUTE 

The Christian missionary orchestra in India after 
independence has continued to rise from one 
crescendo to another with the applause of the 
Nehruvian establishment manned by a brood of 
self-alienated Hindus spawned by missionary- 
macaulayite education. The only rift in the lute 
has been K.M. Panikkar’s Asia and Western 
Dominance published in 1953, the Report of the 
Christian Missionary Activities Committee Madhya 
Pradesh published in 1956, Om Prakash Tyagi’s 
Bill on Freedom of Religion introduced in the Lok 
Sabha in 1978, Arun Shourie’s Missionaries in 
India published in 1994 and the Maharashtra 
Freedom of Religion Bill introduced in the 
Maharashtra Legislative Assembly by Mangal 
Prabhat Lodha, M.L.A. on 20 December 1996. 

We shall summarise in this chapter what these 
rifts revealed, and the reactions to them not only 
from the Christian missionaries but also from the 
‘secular’ establishment. 

K. M. PANIKKAR 

Panikkar’s study was primarily aimed at providing 
a survey of Western imperialism in Asia from CE 
1498 to 1945. Christian missions came into the 
picture simply because he found them arrayed 
always and everywhere alongside Western 
gunboats, diplomatic pressures, extraterritorial 
rights and plain gangsterism. Contemporary 
records consulted by him could not but cut to size 
the inflated images of Christian heroes such as 
Francis Xavier and Matteo Ricci. They were 
found to be not much more than minions 
employed by European kings and princes 
scheming to carve out empires in the East. Their 
methods of trying to convert kings and 
commoners in Asia, said Panikkar, were force or 
fraud or conspiracy and morally questionable in 
every instance. Finding that “missionary 
activities... which became so prominent a feature 



of European relations with Asia were connected 
with Western political supremacy in Asia and 

synchronised with it”- he concluded: “It may 
indeed be said that the most serious, persistent 
and planned effort of European nations in the 
nineteenth century was their missionary activities 
in India and China, where a large-scale attempt 
was made to effect a mental and spiritual 
conquest at supplementing the political authority 
already enjoyed by Europe. Though the results 
were disappointing in the extreme from the 
missionary point of new, this assault on the 
spiritual foundations of Asian countries has had 
far-reaching consequences in the religious and 

social reorganization of the people... ”- 

What hurt the Christian missionaries most, 
however, was Panikkar’s observation that “the 
doctrine of the monopoly of truth and revelation... 
is alien to the Hindu and Buddhist mind” and that 
“to them the claim of any sect that it alone 
represented the truth and other shall be 

condemned has always seemed unreasonable”.- 
He had knocked the bottom out of the missionary 
enterprise. No monopoly of truth and revelation, 
no missions. It was as simple as that. 

Most people in the targeted countries do not know 
that the first missionaries sent out by the Pope 
Innocent IV after the Council of Lyons in 1245 CE 
were spies commissioned to gather information 
about the strength and resources of the Mongols 
who had swept over West Asia and were posing a 
serious threat to Christendom in Europe. The 
second mission was that of John de Monte 
Carvino commissioned by the Pope to visit the 
court of Kublai Khan at Peking for the, same 
purpose. He started to smuggle Christianity in 
China surreptitiously by buying slaves and 
baptizing them and building a few churches. The 
Pope in Rome felt great joy that the ‘only true 
faith’ was spreading in China. But within a few 
years of Carvino’s death in 1328 the entire edifice 
built by him collapsed and not a trace of it was left 

except in his letters to the Pope.- 


The Christian missionary enterprise in earnest 
started with the dogged efforts of Don Henry the 
Navigator (1394-1460), the third son of the King 
John I of Portugal. Henry was a militant Christian 
fired with a bitter hatred for infidels. He was 
obsessed with the idea of reaching and 
converting India, and believed that he had 
received a command from God for this 
purpose. He had at his disposal the immense 
wealth of the Order of Christ of which he was the 

Grand Master. 2 In 1458 Pope Nicholas V issued a 
Bull granting to the King of Portugal “the right, 
total and absolute, to invade, conquer, and 
subject all the countries which are under rule of 
the enemies of Christ, Saracens or Pagans...” On 
March 13, 1456 this first Bull was confirmed by a 
second one by Pope Calixtus III. Finally, Pope 
Alexander VI confirmed the Treaty of Tordesilhas 
signed on June 9, 1494 in terms of which he 
divided the world, east and west, between 

Portugal and Spain to conquer and convert.- The 
kings of Portugal fitted and sent several naval 
expeditions to India, and King Dorn Manoel 
“assumed for himself the title of The Lord of the 
Navigation, Conquest and Commerce of Ethiopia, 

Persia and India’.”- The Society of Jesus (Jesuits) 
though founded by a Spaniard, Ignatius Loyola, 
“found a staunch supporter and champion in the 
Portuguese monarch”. Henceforward Portugal 
became the base of the missionary enterprise in 
Asia. It is noteworthy that some of the great 
figures in the history of Christian missionary 
activities in the East came to adopt Portugal as 
their second country “with the revival of religious 
zeal within the Catholic church following the 
Protestant movement... Francis Xavier, a 
Spaniard, came out as the Portuguese King’s 
Inspector of Missions. Father Vagliano, an Italian 
recruited in Lisbon forty-two missionaries of whom 
only six were Portuguese. To Ricci, another 
Italian, who completed his education at Coimbra 

and Goa, Portugal was the spiritual home.”- Small 
wonder that “with the Portuguese Christianization 
was a state enterprise” and that the Portuguese 
kings “paid for the entire ecclesiastical 

establishment in the East”.- 


The great merit of Panikkar’s book is that it 
provides a history of missionary activities in every 
country of South and South-East Asia as well as 
in the Far East India, China, Japan, Annam, 
Cambodia, Cochin-China, Laos, Sian (Thailand), 
Burma, and Indonesia. We shall take up 
missionary doings in these countries and the 
support they received from various Western 
powers. 

India 

Christian missionaries had accompanied every 
Portuguese naval expedition to India after Vasco 
da Gama reached Calicut in Malabar in 1498. In 
1534, Goa which had been occupied by the 
Portuguese in 1509 “was made a bishopric with 
authority extending over the entire Far East”. 
Rooting out of Hinduism was a special task 
assigned to every Portuguese viceroy. “Hindu 
temples in Goa were destroyed and their property 
distributed to religious orders (like the 
Franciscans) in 1540.” With the arrival of Francis 
Xavier in Goa in 1542 and the establishment of 
the College of St. Paul by him, Goa became the 
centre for training missionaries to be sent out to 
other countries in Asia. “For the next hundred 
years entry of missionaries into the Far East was 
permitted only through Goa.” Under advice from 
Francis Xavier, the king of Portugal established 

the Inquisition in Goa.— “Intolerance of things 
Indian became henceforth the characteristic of 
feature of missionary zeal in India. Any 
compromise with Hindu life or religion was 
avoided e.g. the eating of beef was held to be 
necessary as it would put the converts altogether 
out of the pale of Hinduism.” But Portuguese 
power decayed in the second half of the 
seventeenth century and Portugal’s interest in 
missionary work declined even in South India. 
“The establishment of the Inquisition in Goa 
(1561) and the auto da fe (first instance 1563) 
revolted the conscience of both Hindus and 

Muslims alike.”— Even in Goa, the majority of 
population continued to be non-Christian. Thus 


the “attempt of the Portuguese, secular and 
missionary,... to carry the heathen fort by assault” 

has failed.— 

It was now the turn of the Protestant missions to 
evangelize India by all means short of physical 
force. Small Protestant missions had been 
established in some coastal areas of South India 
from 1660 onwards. But the big boost came with 
the foundation of the Church Missionary Society 
by the Anglican Church in 1799 and “other sects 
followed in their wake”. The Baptist Mission was 
established at Serampore near Calcutta by 
William Carey in 1803. “A violent propaganda 
campaign was launched by Carey and his 
associates against Hinduism in Bengal which 
seemed to them to be in a state of 
dissolution. But Hindu orthodoxy reacted 
vigorously and Lord Minto felt obliged to prohibit 
such propaganda in Calcutta.” He had in mind the 
Vellore Mutiny which had outraged the religious 

sentiments of the sepoys.— 

Christian missions achieved some small success 
in Bengal after India was thrown open to 
missionaries at large in 1813. But once again, 
Hindu response in the shape of reform 
movements was strong, and the missionaries 
received another severe jolt. More significant 
gains were made by the missions in Travancore 
where the Raja was threatened with deposition 
when he tried to prevent the conversion of some 
depressed classes. “The action opened the eyes 
of other ruling princes and there were a number of 
important states where no missionary activity of 
any kind, including schools, was permitted upto 

1947.”— 

The British Government of India had pretended to 
be indifferent to Christian missions, particularly 
after the Revolt of 1857. But it helped the 
missions indirectly. “Legislature protected the 
right of converts to their share in Hindu joint 
families, and High Court decisions enabled 
converts to blackmail their wives to follow them 
into the fold of their new religion. The 


Government also encouraged the missionaries to 

work among the backward tribes.”— Another 
design which the British evolved to promote 
Christianization of India was T.B. Macaulay’s 
educational system introduced in 1835. “It was 
the devout hope of Macaulay... and of many 
others, that the diffusion of new learning among 
the higher classes would see the dissolution of 
Hinduism and the widespread acceptance of 
Christianity. The missionaries were of the same 
view, and they entered the education field with 
enthusiasm, providing schools and colleges in 
many parts of India where education in the 
Christian Bible was compulsory for Hindu 
students. The middle classes accepted Western 
education with avidity and willingly studied 
Christian scriptures, but neither the dissolution of 
Hindu society so hopefully predicted nor the 
conversion of the intellectuals so devoutly hoped 
for showed any sign of materialization. On the 
other hand, Hinduism assimilated the new 
learning, and the effects were soon visible all over 
India in a revival of a universalistic religion based 

1 fi 

on the Vedanta.”— The Grand Design on which 
“they had spent so much money and energy had 

failed”.— The rise of Indian nationalism also had 
an adverse effect on missionary fortunes. The 
great leaders of the national movement such as 
Lokmanya Tilak, Sri Aurobindo and Lala Lajpat 
Rai were champions of resurgent Hinduism. “The 
Christian leaders in India themselves began to 
feel that too obvious a separation from their 
countrymen could not benefit them. Christianity 

began to show interest in Indian culture...— 

Japan 

Francis Xavier’s vision was not confined to India. 
He was eying the whole of South East Asia and 
the Far East, China and Japan in particular. He 
had sailed to Malacca in Malaya in 1545 and then 
to Amboyna in Indonesia. While he was in 
Malacca again on his way back from Amboyna, 
he met a Japanese named Anjiro who was a 
fugitive from justice of his own country. “Anjiro 
gave him glowing accounts of the readiness of 


the people of Japan to receive the message of 
Christ.” Xavier trained this Japanese criminal at 
the College of St. Paul in Goa and then set sail 
for Japan with him in 1549. He was encouraged 
by a provincial feudal lord but opposed by the 
Buddhist priests. He travelled to the Capital of 
Japan, Miyako, in the hope of converting the 
Emperor of Japan. But the Emperor refused to 
see him and he returned disheartened to Goa in 
1551. “The opposition of Buddhist monks had 
dashed his hopes and ignorant as he was of 
Eastern religions, to him the Buddha was a 
demon under whose influence the Japanese 
people were living in monstrous sin. But he did 
not give up hope. He wrote to Ignatius Loyola to 

send more workers for Japan.”— 

Limited Christian missionary work continued in 
Japan mainly in the western part of the Island. 
Japan at that time was divided into a number of 
principalities. “The feudal rulers of that part of 
Japan were anxious at that time to attract 
Portuguese vessels to the harbours mainly with 
the object of strengthening themselves against 
other feudal Lords. They realized instinctively the 
close connection between the foreign powers 
across the seas and the missionaries who had 

come to preach the new religion.”— It was at this 
time that the great Japanese leader Oda 
Nobunaga started his career of conquest to unite 
Japan. He was being opposed by the powerful 
Buddhist monasteries. “The Jesuits saw a 
chance of interesting him in their mission to the 
disadvantage of the Buddhist church. Nobunaga 
encouraged them and in 1568 he invited the 
Catholic missionaries to Kyoto and even gave 
them land on which to build a church. Under his 
powerful protection the mission made unexpected 

progress.”— 

Hideyoshi who succeeded Nobunaga was also 
favourably inclined towards the missionaries. 

“But he was a keen-eyed observer. He noticed 
that the Portuguese had landed artillery to protect 
the area in which Christians lived. On a visit to a 
Portuguese vessel to see Father Coelho, he 


observed that the ship, though small, was heavily 
armed. He was also aware of the interest that the 
western daimyos were manifesting in the arms 
and equipment of the Portuguese and of their 
attempts to strengthen themselves by friendship 
with foreigners. Hideyoshi acted with firmness 
and in 1587 the activities of the missionaries were 
prohibited throughout the length and breadth of 
Japan.” By now the Spaniards had conquered the 
Philippines and were negotiating a commercial 
treaty with Japan. “The commander of a Spanish 
galleon which was driven ashore spoke of 
Spanish power and recounted to the local daimyo 
who had salvaged the vessel and claimed the 
cargo the glories and prowess of the 
Conquistadores in a boastful manner. 

Hideyoshi’s suspicious mind, already aware of 
Portuguese action in the East, ordered the arrest 
of all Spaniards in the country and had them 

crucified in Nagasaki as spies.’— 

The Japanese had collected considerable 
intelligence about the doings of the Portuguese, 
the Dutch, the Spaniards and the British in the 
islands of the Pacific. They had also realized that 
the converts in Japan sympathised with and 
looked for support to the foreigners. So they put 
down with a strong hand efforts to convert more 
Japanese to a creed which was heaping abuse 
on the gods of Japan.” The local Christian 
community continued to exist as a minor and 
obscure sect subject to intermittent persecution 
mainly because of its affiliations with foreigners. 
However, in 1614 lyeasu, the Tokugawa Shogun, 
made it clear that Christian teachings were no 
longer to be tolerated and an edict banning the 

religion was issued that year.”— At the same time, 
the Japanese sent a special spy to the southern 
regions to report on the activities of the 
Europeans there. Information about a Spanish 
plan to invade Japan reached them in 
1622. Then came the Christian rebellion in Japan 
in 1637. “It took a considerable army and a costly 
campaign to put down the revolt which was said 
to have received support from the Portuguese. 
The reaction of the Shogunate was sharp and 
decisive the firm policy of eliminating the converts 


was put into effect and a few years later the 

24 

country was closed to the Westerners.”— 

Japan remained closed to Christian missions till 
1889 when the policy was revised under the Meiji 
Restoration. The Japanese remained suspicious 
about Christian missionaries but as the new 
Constitution included a clause about complete 
religious toleration. The doors were opened to 
foreign missions. By that time, however, both 
Shintoism and Buddhism had revived in Japan 
and Christianity continued to be looked down 
upon by the mainstream Japanese as an evil 
sect. “Finally the educational system in Japan 
was under national control and Christian 
teachings were suspected to be in conflict with 
the tradition of state dominance enjoined by 

Shintoism.”— 

China 

It was in China that Christian missions achieved 
their greatest success as well as met their 
greatest failure. Backed by the gangsterism of 
European powers, particularly Britain and France, 
the mission’s spread their tentacles far and wide 
shattered the political, social and cultural fabric of 
China, and prepared the way for Communist take¬ 
over after the Second World War. 

There were a large number of Chinese in Malacca 
when the Portuguese captured this place in 1511. 
It was from these Chinese that the Portuguese 
heard of the vast riches of China. They started 
sending commercial embassies to China. But the 
real purpose of these embassies was to spy and 
gather intelligence; they were planning invasion 
and conquest. A Portuguese embassy under 
Thomas Pires was sent to Peking and the 
Chinese Emperor showed readiness to receive it. 
But Simon d’Antrade who had accompanied Pires 
landed a party of Portuguese on the Chinese land 
and started building a fort. “The Chinese fleet 
attacked him and he was driven out. When news 
of Simon d’Artrade’s piracies reached Peking, the 
Chinese Government naturally refused to receive 


the ambassador who was sent back to Canton 

where he died in prison in 1523.”— Francis Xavier 
had also cast covetous eyes on China after his 
return from Japan. “He set out for China. But 
waiting for a ship on a little island off the 
Kwantung coast the indomitable old man died 

(1552).”— 

On the other hand, unofficial trade between the 
Portuguese and some Chinese on the coastal 
areas was proving profitable to both parties. A 
Portuguese ship helped a Chinese admiral who 
was chasing pirates, and the Portuguese had 
given rich presents to the local governor of 
Chuang Chao and Ningpo. So the viceroy 
allowed the Portuguese to establish a trading post 
on the small deserted promontory of Macao in 

1557.— In 1565 the Jesuits built a residence in 
Macao and Christian missionaries started 
arriving. By now the missionaries had evolved a 
new policy. They tried to be of special service to 
high Chinese officials and use their patronage for 
propagating Christianity. Matteo Ricci reached 
Macao in 1582 and travelled to the Chinese 
Capital at Peking in 1595 He gained the favour of 
the Court by presenting chiming clocks, other 
scientific toys and by showing his skill in 
mathematics. At that time a conflict had arisen in 
China between Buddhism and Confucianism. 
Seeing that the Court was inclined towards 
Confucianism, he sided with this creed. “He 
quoted from the Confucian texts in support of the 
Christian doctrines and tried to show that 
Confucian doctrines did not conflict with 

Christianity.”— 

The Jesuits who followed Ricci served the Ming 
Emperors as astrologers and gun manufacturers, 
which activities brought them patronage but in no 
way promoted-Christianity. Adam Schall who had 
succeeded Ricci in 1630 “was nominated Vice- 
President of the Imperial Sacrifice, the 
Superintendent of the imperial Stud and High 
Honourable Bearer of the Imperial Banquet 

on 

strange posts for a Christian priest to hold.”— The 
mission at Peking was closed after the Ming 


dynasty was overthrown by the Manchus and 
Schall was jailed. He died in 1666. But another 
Jesuit, Ferdinand Verbiest, succeeded in winning 
the favour of the Manchu King, Kang Hsi who 
needed the Jesuit’s skill for manufacturing cannon 
for suppressing a rebellion. The new king 
permitted the missionaries to preach their 
religion. Verbiest appealed to the king of France 
to send missionaries to China from the newly 
established (1664) Congregation de Missions 
Estrangers in Paris, and six French priests left for 
the Far East in 1685. One of these French 
fathers, Gerbillion was “a brilliant linguist who 
rendered brilliant service to the Chinese 
Government during the Sino-Russian border 
disputes which led to the Treaty of Nertchinsk 
(1689). As a reward for his ability and tact an 
‘Edict of Tolerance’ was issued by the Emperor 
(1692) which declared that the doctrines taught 
by the Europeans in charge of Astronomy and the 
Tribunal of Mathematics, ‘are not evil’ and 
permitted people ‘to go to the churches freely to 

worship God’.”— 

But the Jesuits had gone too far in compromising 
the Christian doctrines and rites. They were 
practising astrology for the Chinese Court. “The 
head of the Jesuit mission as the Honourable 
Bearer of Dishes at the Imperial Banquet, or as 
the President of the Rites was not likely to find 
favour either in Rome or in Paris, and this was the 
problem that was raised at the Vatican itself, by 

the Dominicans,”— The Pope sent to China the 
Vicar General who gave a decision against the 
Jesuits. The Jesuits appealed to the Chinese 
Emperor for declaring that the Chinese rites were 
not in conflict with the Christian practices. The 
Emperor confirmed the Jesuit position, which was 
resented by the Pope. He sent a Legate for 
further enquiry. The Legate prohibited the Jesuit 
practices. The Emperor sent the Legate to jail 
where he died in 1710. On the other hand, a 
Papal Bull was issued against missionaries in 
China practising any Chinese rites. “In 1724, the 
preaching of the Christian religion was officially 
suppressed and the foreign missionaries, except 
those employed at the Court, were deported to 


Canton. Thus came to an end the grandiose 

oo 

scheme of the Jesuits in China.”— 

Christian missions entered China in a big way 
with the arrival of Britain, France and the U.S.A. 
on the scene in the second quarter of the 
nineteenth century. Opium trade which was 
forced on China by the British East India 
Company led to the opium wars, defeat of China, 
and acquisition of extraterritorial rights by the 
various Western powers. Christian missions 
gained the right to operate not only in the extra¬ 
territorial enclaves but all over China. They also 
shared the indemnities exacted from China in the 
aftermath of various wars. All sorts of 
questionable characters became converts to 
Christianity and sought the protection of 
imperialist powers. “Christianity in China was 
involved with the Taiping rebellion... Protected by 
foreign authority these converts looked down 
upon the Chinese and took up an aggressive 
attitude towards them...” The Christian 
missionaries created mischief everywhere but 
were protected by the consuls of foreign 

powers.— 

“But there was not a single province or area 
during all this time where the common man, as 
well as the mandarin, did not make it clear that 
the missionary was an unwelcome intruder... Not 
a single year passed without violent 
manifestations in some town or other against 
missionary activity. The Boxer rebellion could 
only be understood against this background. It 
was the missionary and the ‘secondary devil’, the 
native convert, who were the special objects of 
the Boxer’s fury. Indeed the Chinese Christians 
had to pay dearly for being ‘secondary devils’ 
suspected to be supporters of foreign 

qc; 

aggressors.”— 

One particular incident in the history of 
Christianity in China deserves special notice. The 
French had built a cathedral on the site of a 
Chinese temple in Tientsin. An orphanage was 
also established by Catholic nuns. “These sisters 


arranged for the payment of a sum for every child 
brought to the orphanage, that is, in plain words 
established a kind of purchase system, 
encouraging the less scrupulous Chinese 
middlemen to kidnap children... Naturally, the 
Chinese public was greatly agitated by the 

qo 

procedure.”— The matter was represented to the 
Imperial Commissioner who took it up with the 
French consul. The consul resisted enquiry by a 
committee of the Chinese and fired at the mob 
which had collected outside the orphanage. The 
consul was murdered and the Cathedral as well 
as the orphanage was destroyed. The French 
threatened war and were supported by the British, 
the Americans, the Russians and the Italians. 

The situation was saved by the Franco-Prussian 
war in Europe in which the French were 

defeated.— 

The Boxer war gave an opportunity to the 
Christian missions to acquire monopoly over 
education in China. The Treaty that followed 
“provided for the suspension of official 
examinations for five years in towns where 
foreigners had been molested - a device meant to 
give a chance to the missionary educated young 
men and Christians to be employed in 

qo 

service...”— In the next ten years the 
missionaries established a monopoly over 
education in China. Missionary education in turn 
created spiritual chaos. Instead of a Chinese 
renaissance based on Confucianism or Buddhism 
what followed was a basically antireligious 
movement - the Chinese New Tide which paved 
the way for “penetration of revolutionary ideas of 
Marxism”. The leader of the New Tide, Chen. Tu- 
hsiu, became in due course the founder of the 

39 

original Communist Party of China.— 

Christian hopes in China revived when Sun Yat- 
sen, a Christian, emerged as the leader of the 
Chinese Republic after the overthrow of the 
Manchus in 1911. “But he showed that he was 
more interested in the greatness and welfare of 
China than in the promotion of Christianity. The 
disappointment which Sun Yat-sen felt at the 


attitude of the Christian powers of the West and 
the influence which the October Revolution in 
Russia exercised on him led him away further and 
further from the missionaries to whom he had at 
one time looked for support. Moreover, the rising 
tide of nationalism, against unequal treaties and 
against imperialism, was unfavourable to 
Christianity The Anti-Christian Federation founded 
in Shanghai in 1922 asserted that Christianity was 
an ally of capitalism and imperialism and thus an 

instrument for oppression of weaker nations.”— 

Seventy years of sustained missionary effort for 
Christianizing China had inflicted great damage 
on Chinese society and culture. The missionaries 
had also helped the Western powers in destroying 
the political system of China. “Anarchical 
conditions in China were expected to be 
favourable to missionary hopes. Anarchical 
conditions did come about in Chinese society, but 

the beneficiaries were others.”— 

Indo-China 

Christian missionary intrusion in Indo-China 
started with the activities of Alexander de Rhodes, 
a Jesuits who started work among Japanese 
Christian refugees (1662-27). But his success 
was not significant. His appeal to the Pope for 
support bore no fruit. The newly established 
Mission Estrangers in France (1659), however, 
provided help. “Some businessmen in Rouen had 
established a society for the double purpose of 
trade and religion. It was in their ship that Bishop 
Lambert, selected by Father Alexander de 
Rhodes for the mission, reached Tongking in the 
guise of a merchant (1662). The Trinh monarchs 
of Tongking however showed no desire to 
welcome missionary activity... The Dutch soon 
succeeded in destroying the French factory at 
Tongking, and the local people remained 
indifferent to the new religion. So there was 
nothing to report for nearly a century.” It was only 
in 1765 that Pigneau de Behaine of the Mission 
Estrangers arrived in Cochin China. The Nguen 
King of Hue was in exile at this time. Behaine 


fitted out an expedition and restored him to his 
throne. But Behaine died soon after (1779). 
Meanwhile, the Revolution had broken out in 
France and the mission could expect no help from 
the mother country. By the time of the Bourbon 
restoration in France “the new Emperor of 
Annam, Minh Mang, had become very hostile to 
Christian activity. In 1848 Emperor Tu-Doc 
declared the religion of Jesus to be a ‘perverse 
religion’ and ordered ministers of this religion to 

be thrown into the sea.”— 

Tu-Duc’s hostility to Christianity provided an 
excuse to Napoleon III of France. Fie decided to 
use force. In a communique published on 14 
November 1858, he announced that “ruthless 
persecutions of our missionaries have brought our 
warships on more than one than occasion to the 
coast of the Annamite Kingdom”. The Spaniards 
in the Philippines came out in support of the 
French expedition, “the commander-in-chief 
emphasizing the necessity ‘to avenge the insults 
to our sacred religion and our pious 

missionaries’.”— 


The struggle between Tu-Duc and the French 
continued for fifteen years. The Annamite King 
appealed to China for help and the French 
suffered a defeat. But the relief was temporary. 

In the end Tu-Duc had to come to terms with 
France. Fie signed a treaty in 1874 ceding 
Cochin China to France and opening the Red 
River to French commerce. “This treaty... 
brought into existence the political structure of 
Indo-China with its separate areas of Cochin 
China, the Empire of Annam, the Kingdom of 

Cambodia and the Principality of Laos.”— 

The cultural resistance offered by Buddhism and 
Confucianism in Cambodia, Laos and Annam 
proved to be weak and not very widespread. The 
missionaries had a field day. The social system 
showed signs of breakdown everywhere. Nor 
was there a strong national movement in this 
region till after the First World War. “When that 
movement started, the Russian Revolution had 


already become a major factor in Eastern Asia, 
and therefore from the beginning the new 
nationalism of Indo-China had a Marxist bias, 
which later developed into Communist 

leadership.”— 

Slam (Thailand) 

Siam was able to resist Western pressures for 
unequal treaties till 1855 when the changed 
position in China and the British annexation of a 
part of Burma persuaded her to negotiate with 
Britain. “Sir John Bowring, who negotiated the 
treaty of 1855, was able to secure the principle of 
extra-territoriality for British subjects, permission 
to build churches and exemption of all duty for 

import of opium."-- France also found pretexts for 
using strong arm methods and acquired some 
sort of extraterritorial rights for all her Asian 
subjects by a treaty signed in 1893. But rivalry 
between France and Britain enabled Siam to 
maintain her independence as a buffer state. The 
greatest factor which came to the rescue of Siam, 
however, was a succession of strong and able 
kings who introduced reforms and revived native 

culture.— Missionary activity had but little impact 
on the people in Siam due to the strength and 
vitality of the Buddhist Church. “The monarch of 
Siam assumed the title of the Defender of the 
Buddhist Faith in imitation of the British King’s 
title. The conservative but generally enlightened 
policy followed by the monarchy during the critical 
period between 1870 and 1920 had the effect of 
getting Siam through the transition without violent 
tumult and a disorganization of society, so that in 
the period following the First [World] War she was 
enabled to recover her natural independence in 
full by the gradual abolition, through negotiations, 
of the rights of extraterritoriality which the foreign 

nations possessed.”— 

Burma 

Burma after its annexation by the British remained 
a part of India till 1937 so that the rise of Indian 


nationalism had a strong impact on Burmese 
nationalism. Though Buddhism had ceased to be 
the state religion of Burma after its annexation, its 
influence amongst the people was not seriously 
affected. Nationalist leaders in Burma had to 
profess to be devout Buddhists to gain popular 
support. “An instance of this was the case of Dr. 
Ba Maw, who was baptized as a Christian in his 
childhood; when he had become a prominent 
national figure, he declared that he had returned 

to the mother (Buddhist) church.”— Missionary 
activity in Burma was able to affect neither its 
social structure nor its religion except among the 
Karens, the backward tribals. “There was thus 
considerable missionary sympathy for Karen 
separatism - a movement which was at one stage 
a major threat to the cause of Burmese 

independence.”— 

Missionary Response to Panikkar 

The message that Panikkar had tried to convey to 
Asians in general and to his own countrymen in 
particular was that the history of Christianity 
surveyed by him was a running commentary on 
the imperialist character of the Christian doctrine. 
But the Brown Sahibs who had taken over from 
the British - the politicians and the intellectual’s 
elite in India - failed to grasp his message and 
ignored his monumental study altogether. On the 
other hand, the missionaries were up in arms 
against him. “To prove his point,” they said, 
“Panikkar picks and chooses historical facts and 
then deals with them one-sidedly.” But none of 
them came out with facts which could redeem or 
even counterbalance those, presented by 
Panikkar. Efforts to explain them away or put 
another interpretation on them, also remained a 
poor exercise. Fr. Jerome D’Souza had jibed, “A 
very fine narrative Mr. Panikkar, but you must not 

call it history.”— But he or his missionary 
colleagues never bothered to tell what was that 
history which Panikkar had not taken into 
account. Subsequent Christian writings show that 
the missionaries have never been able to stop 
smarting from the hurt caused by Panikkar’s 


book. They have also learnt a lesson, namely, 
that the Christian doctrine has to be salvaged 
from the history it had created. By now there is a 
plethora of Christian literature which bemoans the 
“colonial handicap” which has stood in the way of 
Jesus scoring over Rama and Krishna and the 
Buddha. And there has been a determined and 
sustained effort to present to the Indian people 
what Stanley Jones has named as the 
“disentangled Christ”. 

THE NIYOGI COMMITTEE 

The appointment of the Committee was 
announced on April 16, 1954 by a press note of 
the Government of Madhya Pradesh which said, 
“Representations have been made to 
Government from time to time that Christian 
Missionaries either forcibly or through fraud and 
temptations of monetary and other gain convert 
illiterate aboriginals and other backward people 
thereby offending the feelings of non-Christians. 

It has further been represented that Missions are 
utilised directly or indirectly for purposes of extra¬ 
religious objectives. The Christian Missionaries 
have repudiated these allegations and have 
asserted on the other hand that their activities are 
confined solely to religious propaganda and 
towards social, medical and educational 
work. The Missionaries have further alleged that 
they are being harassed by non-Christian people 
and local officials. As agitation has been growing 
on either side, the State Government consider it 
desirable in the public interest to have a thorough 
inquiry made into the whole question through an 

impartial Committee.”— 

The Government of Madhya Pradesh had to take 
notice of the agitation worked up by Christian 
missionaries. It had already led to violence in the 
adjoining States merged with Orissa. The 
missionaries had become too powerful in Madhya 
Pradesh to be ignored any longer. “It must be 
noticed,” recorded the Committee, “that about 30 
different Missions are working in Madhya Pradesh 
with varying number of centres in each district. 


Almost the entire Madhya Pradesh is covered by 
Missionary activities and there is hardly any 
district where a Mission of one denomination or 
the other is not operating in some form or the 
other. More than half the people of Madhya 
Pradesh (57.4 percent) consist of members of the 
Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other 
Backward Classes and it is amongst these that 

co 

Missionary activities are mostly confined.”— 

The Committee had seven members including the 
Chairman, Dr. Bhawani Shankar Niyogi, retired 
Chief Justice of the Nagpur High Court. Mr. K.C. 
George, a professor in the Commerce College at 
Wardha, represented the Christian community. It 
started by studying the material in government 
files. As a result it was led to enlarge its terms of 
reference to include political and extra-religious 
activities also. “The material gathered in the initial 
stages of the enquiry revealed to the Committee 
that its significance far transcended the bounds of 
any one country or region in the world and that it 
was calculated to have worldwide 
repercussions. That compelled the Committee to 
view the subject as an integral part of a larger 
picture on the broad canvas of world history. The 
Committee had to consult a number of published 
books, pamphlets and periodicals for determining 

the nature and form of their recommendations.”— 

The terms of reference enabled the Committee to 
evolve a Questionnaire which was sent to such 
individuals and organisations as could help in the 
investigation. It received 385 replies to the 
Questionnaire, 55 from Christians and 330 from 
non-Christians. Besides, the Committee toured 
14 districts in which it visited 77 centres, 
contacted 11,360 persons, and received 375 
written statements. Hospitals, schools, churches, 
leper homes, hostels, etc., maintained by various 
missions were among the Christian institutions 
visited by the Committee. The persons 
interviewed came from 700 villages. 

“In all these places,” recorded the Committee, 
“there was unanimity as regards the excellent 


service rendered by the Missionaries in the fields 
of education and medical relief. But on the other 
hand there was a general complaint from the non- 
Christian side that the schools and hospitals were 
being used as means of securing converts. There 
was no disparagement of Christianity or of Jesus 
Christ, and no objection to the preaching of 
Christianity and even to conversions to 
Christianity. The objection was to the illegitimate 
methods alleged to be adopted by the 
Missionaries for this purpose, such as offering 
allurements of free education and other facilities 
to children attending their schools, adding some 
Christian names to their original Indian names, 
marriages with Christian girls, money-lending, 
distributing Christian literature in hospitals and 
offering prayers in the wards of indoor patients. 
Reference was also made to the practice of the 
Roman Catholic priests or preachers visiting 
newborn babies to give ‘ashish’ (blessings) in the 
name of Jesus, taking sides in litigation or 
domestic quarrels, kidnapping of minor children 
and abduction of women and recruitment of 
labour for plantations in Assam or Andaman as a 
means of propagating the Christian faith among 
the ignorant and illiterate people. There was a 
general tendency to suspect some ulterior political 
or extra-religious motive, in the influx of foreign 
money for evangelistic work in its varied 
forms. The concentration of Missionary 
enterprise on the hill tribes in remote and 
inaccessible parts of the forest areas and their 
mass conversion with the aid of foreign money 
were interpreted as intended to prepare the 
ground for a separate independent State on the 

fines of Pakistan.”— 

To start with, Christian missions put up a show of 
co-operation with the Committee. But they 
realized very soon that the Committee was well- 
informed and meant business. “The authorities 
and members of the Roman Catholic Church 
cooperated with the Committee in their 
exploratory tours in Raigarh, Surguja, Bilaspur, 
Raipur and Nimar districts. Shri G. X. Francis, 
President of the Catholic Regional Council, and 
Shri P. Lobo, Advocate, High Court, Nagpur, 


associated themselves with the Committee. But 
subsequently the Catholic Church withdrew its co¬ 
operation, not only filing statement of protest, but 
also moving the High Court for a Mandamus 
Petition (Miscellaneous Petition No. 263 of 

1955).”— 

The Petition was dismissed by the High Court on 
April 12, 1956, “holding that it was within the 
competence of the State Government to appoint a 
fact-finding Committee to collect information and 
that there had been no infringement of any 
fundamental rights of the petitioner.” At the same 
time the High Court made some adverse remarks 
about certain questions in the Questionnaire. The 
Committee considered the remarks and “informed 
the petitioner and the public that none of the 
questions represented either the views of the 
Committee or any individual member thereof and 
our anxiety to have information on various points 
was due to our desire to find out to what extent, if 
any, could any activity be considered to infringe 
the limits of public order, morality and health 

imposed by the Constitution.”— 

The Report of the Committee, published in July 
1956, presented the “history of Christian missions 
with special reference to the old Madhya Pradesh 

co 

and Merged States.”— Coming to the agitation for 
Jharkhand, it gave the background. “The 
separatist tendency,” it said, “that has gripped the 
mind of the aboriginals under the influence of the 
Lutheran and Roman Catholic Missions is entirely 
due to the consistent policy pursued by the British 
Government and the Missionaries. The final 
segregation of the aborigines in the Census of 
1931 from the main body of the Hindus 
considered along with the recommendations of 
the Simon Commission which were incorporated 
in the Government of India Act, 1935 apparently 
set the stage for the demand of a separate State 

of Jharkhand on the lines of Pakistan.”— 

The subsequent formation of the Adiwasi 
Mahasabha and the Jharkhand Party followed in 
stages as the separatist forces gathered 


strength. “This attempt of the Adiwasis,” 
observed the Report, “initiated by the Christian 
section thereof is a feature which is common to 
the developments in Burma, Assam and Indo- 
China among the Karens, Nagas and Amboynes. 
This is attributed to the spirit of religious 
nationalism awakened among the converted 
Christians as among the followers of other 
religions. But the idea of change of religion as 
bringing about change of nationality appears to 
have originated in the Missionary circles... Thus 
while the Census officer isolates certain sections 
of the people from the main bodies, the 
Missionaries by converting them give them a 
separate nationality so that they may demand a 

separate State for themselves.”— 

Next, the Report considered “Christian postwar 

world policy,”- 1 and quoted from several Christian 
sources. The aim of this policy in India was 
threefold: “(1) to resist the progress of national 
unity... (2) to emphasise the difference in the 
attitude towards the principle of coexistence 
between India and America... (3) to take 
advantage of the freedom accorded by the 
Constitution of India to the propagation of religion, 
and to create a Christian party in the Indian 
democracy on lines of the Muslim League 
ultimately to make out a claim for a separate 

State, or at least to create a ‘militant minority’.”— 

The newly adopted Constitution of India, 
according to the Committee, had encouraged the 
controllers of Christian missions in Europe Ad 
America to concentrate on India. “Although 
Europe itself,” observed the Report, “required ‘re- 
Evangelisation and re-Christianisation’ because of 
the spread of the Gospel of Communism 

according to Marx, the W.C.C.— and I.M.C.— 
turned their attention to India and other colonial 
countries. They were encouraged by the 
promulgation of our Constitution which set up a 
secular State with liberty to propagate any religion 
in the country. They noted that the Churches in 
India were growing steadily in number partly by 
natural increase, partly from evangelisation and 


that the mass or community movements to 
Christianity did not die out though slowed down, 
but that the spiritual life of the congregation was 
low and that the Indian Church lacked economic 
maturity. Though India has the most highly 
organised National Christian Council it had to be 
largely paid for from abroad. Even the 
institutional activities of Missions, viz., schools, 
colleges and hospitals were dependent upon 
foreign support. Even the ordinary 
congregational life and pastoral duty still required 

some form of foreign aid.”— 

The Report surveyed the state of religious liberty 
in various countries in the past and at present. It 
cited High Court judgements in India to the effect 
that religious liberty is “not an absolute protection 
to be interpreted and applied independently of 

fifi 

other provisions of the Constitution.”— Then it 
turned to “missionary activities in Madhya 
Pradesh since independence as disclosed by oral 

67 

and documentary evidence.”— This was the most 
substantial as well as the most revealing part of 
the Report. It laid bare what the Christian 
Missions had been doing not only in Madhya 
Pradesh but all over India in the name of 
exercising religious liberty. 

There was a detailed account of “how this 
programme of mass proselytisation was inspired 

and financed by foreigners’— and how the paid 
pracharaks of various missions had canned out in 
the rural and tribal areas. The pracharaks were 
particularly noticeable in the erstwhile Native 
States which had kept missionary operations 
under control before their merger in Madhya 
Pradesh. “It is thus indisputably clear,” recorded 
the Report, “that financial assistance from abroad 
had been extended in far more liberal manner 
than even before the Constitution of India was 
promulgated, and that it is mainly with this help 
that Mission organisations are carrying on 
proselytisation amongst backward tribes, 

69 

especially in areas freshly opened.”— 


This greatly extended scale of missionary 
operations was dressed up ideologically in a new 
theological concept. “It may be recalled,” 
commented the Report, “that the expression 
‘Partnership in Obedience’ came into vogue at the 
meeting of the Committee of the International 
Missionary Council held at Whitby in 1947 (page 
94, World Christian Handbook, 1952) and it has a 
bearing on the expression ‘need of particular 
churches to be rooted in the soil and yet 
supranational in their witness and 
obedience’ (page 29, ibid.). These particular 
churches are in the old Mission fields ‘which are 
touched by new nationalisms independent in 
temper and organisation and yet needing help 
from other churches’ (page 29, ibid.). The 
expression ‘Partnership in Obedience’ was being 
interpreted variously and it was after discussion at 
a meeting of the Lutheran World Federation 
Executive and also of the Executive of the World 
Council of Churches held at Geneva in 1951, that 
it came to be interpreted as implying full and 
unreserved co-operation between the old and the 
younger churches in the effort of extending the 

Kingdom of God.”~ In plain language, the 
pompous proclamation meant that missions and 
churches in Europe and America which provided 
the finance would continue to plan, direct and 
control missionary activities in India. 

The Report quoted Christian sources to show the 
extent to which Christianity in India was 
dependent on foreign finance. Rolland Allan had 
written in his book, The Spontaneous Expansion 
of the Church, published in 1949, that “it is 
money, money everywhere, all the time, 
everything depends on money.” In another book, 
Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or Our’s, 
published by the same author in 1953, he had felt 
“sad to sit and watch a stream of Christian visitors 
calling upon a Missionary and to observe that in 
nearly every case the cause which brings them is 
money.” Christianity in the Indian Crucible by Dr. 
E. Asirvatham had been published in 1955. “One 
chief reason,” he had observed, “why Indian 
Christians in general still welcome foreign 
Missionaries is economy; it is an open secret that 


the Indian Church is not yet out of the swaddling 
clothes, so far as its economic support is 
concerned. To give an extreme illustration only 
Rs. 6,000 of the total income of Rs. 1,12,500 of 
the National Christian Council of India... is from 
Indian sources and the rest comes from the 

Mission Boards abroad.”— It was curious that 
Christianity was presented as a two-thousand 
years old banyan tree when it came to its right to 
spread its tentacles, and as a tender seedling 
when it came to its capacity for growing up on its 
own. 

The Report provided details of how much had 
been contributed by which Western country to the 
total of Rs. 29.27 crores received by Christian 
missions in India from January 1950 to June 
1954: 


Country 

Amount in Rs. 

U.S.A. 

20,68,63,000 

U.K. 

4,83,89,000 

Canada 

1,67,56,000 

Sweden 

64,41,000 

Denmark 

33,91,000 

Norway 

27,97,000 

Rest of Sterling Area 

25,29,000 

Switzerland 

15,77,000 

Aid from non- 
Sterling Area 

14,72,000 

Germany 

11,72,000 

France 

7,61,000 

Belgium 

6,47,000 




2,90,27,00072 


The Report revealed that the bulk of this foreign 
money received ostensibly for maintaining 
‘educational and medical institutions’ was spent 
on proselytization. “It has been contended,” said 
the Report, “that most of the amount is utilised for 
creating a class of professional proselytisers, both 
foreign as well as Indian. We have not been able 


















to get the figures of the salaries which the foreign 
Missionaries receive for their service in India. 

Only Rev. Hartman (Amravati No. 1) was pleased 
to declare that his salary was 63 dollars per 
month paid from Rome, plus free quarters and 
vehicle allowance. One can have some idea of 
the scale of salaries of American Missionaries 
from the fact that in the American Evangelical and 
Reformed Church there are 28 Missionaries on 
the India roll and under the head of Missionary 
salaries and appurtenances the figure comes to 
90,072,23 dollars (American Evangelistic and 
Reformed Church Blue Book, 1955, pages 
56,60). They are supplied with well-furnished 
bungalows, and they command resources in 

vehicles and other things.”— At the same time it 
noted a great disparity between the scales of 
salaries and allowances paid to foreign 
missionaries on the one hand and to their native 
mercenaries on the other. 

There were 480 foreign missionaries working in 
Madhya Pradesh at that time. Out of them as 
many as 236 were Americans. The Report gave 
a count of foreign missionaries, Americans and 
others, stationed in the 22 districts of the then 
Madhya Pradesh. “Besides those,” it added, 
“included in the number given by the National 
Christian Council in the Christian Handbook of 
India 1954-55, it appears from the statement of 
Rev. R.C. Das that there is a large number of 
unattached evangelists. Rev. Das’s statement 
receives support from the remark made in the 
Compiler’s introduction to the Christian Hand- 
Book of India 1954-55 that the increased 
personnel has occurred in the smaller Missions 
most of which do not yet have any organised 

Churches.”— 

The methods of proselytisation had remained the 
same as in days of old. The Report gave 
concrete instances of how mission schools were 
used to influence the minds of young people. 
Harijan and ‘Adivasi’ students came in for special 
attention. They were “given free boarding, 
lodging and books” provided they attended 


Christian prayers. Bible classes were made 
compulsory by treating as absent for the whole 
day those students who failed to be present in 
those classes. School celebrations were used for 
showing the victory of the cross over all other 
symbols. Hospitals were used for putting 
pressure on poor class patients to embrace 
Christianity. The richest harvest, however, was 
reaped in mission orphanages which collected 
orphans during famines and other natural 
calamities such as floods and earthquakes. “No 
wonder,” observed the Report, “that the largest 
number of converts are from such backward 
classes living in areas where due to various 
causes only Mission schools and hospitals exist. 
Most conversions have been doubtless insincere 
admittedly brought about in expectation of social 
service benefits and other material 

considerations.”— 

Another device employed for proselytisation was 
money-lending. Roman Catholic missions had 
specialised in this field. Poor people often 
approached the local missionary for loans which 
were written off if the debtor became a convert; 
otherwise he had to repay it with interest which 
were often found difficult. Protestant missionaries 
and others cited before the Committee instances 
of how this method worked. One of the 
conditions forgetting a loan, for instance, was that 
the recipient agreed to chop off the topknot 
( choti ), the symbol of his being a Hindu. “Some of 
the people,” the Report noted, “who had received 
loans were minors and casual labourers. It also 
appeared that when one member of a family had 
taken a loan, all the other members of that family 
were entered in the book as potential converts. 
The rate of interest charged was 10 per cent and 
in a large number of cases examined, one year’s 
interest was deducted in advance. On being 
questioned, the people without any hesitation, 
said that their only purpose in going to the 
Mission had been to get money; and all said that 
without the lure of money none would have 

sought to become Christian.”— Some other 
allurements such as the “promise of gift of salt, 
plough, bullocks and even milk powder received 


from abroad” were used to the same effect.— 


There were several other ways of attracting 
converts. For instance, the new converts were 
employed as pracharaks on salaries ranging from 
Rs. 40/- to Rs. 100/- per month. This by itself 
proved an attractive proposition to those who 
were not in a position or qualified to earn even 
Rs. 20/-. Christians working in various 
government departments were exhorted and 
expected to participate in the game. Those who 
did not help were cursed in missionary 
publications. Christians placed in higher positions 
and missionaries who became influential 
members of the Janapad Sabhas put pressure on 
junior officers for influencing people in favour of 
Christianity. 

The Report also noted “various methods of 

78 

propagating Christianity.”— Missionary 
publications “attacked idol worship in rather 
offensive terms.” Dramas in which idol worship 
was ridiculed were performed in schools and 
elsewhere. Songs to the same effect were 
composed and sung. Rama was “described as a 
God who destroyed Ravan and was contrasted 
with Jesus who died for the wicked.” Methods 
evolved for conveying Christianity in Hindu 
cultural forms were also in evidence. Some of 
them were plainly dishonest, as for instance, “the 
expression occurring in Tulsidas’s Ramayan, viz. 
‘Gidapujan’ was interpreted to the people as 

‘Girjaghar’ i.e., a Church.”— But, on the whole, 
preference was given to vicious attacks on 
Hinduism, which was held up as a false 
religion. “Such virulent and sinister attacks on 
Hinduism,” observed the Report, “are in no way a 
departure from the manner which characterised 
the Christian preaching in the past, which 
Gandhiji referred to, particularly Bishop Heber’s 
famous hymn, ‘where every prospect pleases and 

only man is vile’.”— 

The Report contained a section on Mass 
Conversions brought about by material 
inducements. “If conversion is an individual act,” 


it noted, “one would expect deep thought and 
study of the particular religion one wanted to 
embrace. But what we have found is groups of 
illiterate Adivasis, with families and children 
getting their topknots cut and being shown as 
Christians. Most of them do not know even the 
rudiments of the new religion... The Government 
has supplied us with a list of persons recently 
converted in the Surguja district after the 
promulgation of the Constitution. A perusal 
thereof will show that about 4000 Uraons were 
converted in two years. Persons of varying ages 
from 60 years to 1 year are shown as converts 
and the list includes women and children 
also. We have met many Uraons in the course of 
our tours and we were struck very much by their 

total absence of religious feeling.”— 

The Committee had “reliable information that 
Mission organisations possess upto-date records 

of Baptisms.”— But they refused to produce these 
records. “It would not be unsafe,” concluded the 
Report, “to presume that the reluctance on the 
part of the Roman Catholic Mission organisations 
to produce such evidence was in no small 
measure due to the fear of the Truth being out... 
As a rule, groups have been converted, and we 
find ‘individual conversion’ has been an exception 
rather than the rule. We have come across cases 
of individual conversions only of persons who are 
village leaders and they have invariably been 
followed by ‘Mass conversions’ of the entire 
village soon after. We have not found it possible 
to accept the contention that the immediate 
material prosperity of these converted leaders 

bore no causal relation to their conversions.” 1 — 

The Report expressed the view that conversions 
led directly to denationalisation. Greetings such 
as ‘Ram Ram’ and ‘Jai Hind’ were substituted with 
‘Jai Yeshu’. “The idea of the unique Lordship of 
Christ,” recorded the Report, “is propagated in 
rural areas by the exhibition of the film ‘King of 
Kings’, which we had the pleasure of witnessing 
at Buldana. The supremacy of the Christian flag 
over the National flag of India was also depicted 


in the drama which was staged in a school at 

Jabaipur.”— The missionary paper, Nishkalanka, 
had written, “Why does India desire that Portugal 
which has been exercising sovereignty for 400 
years over Goa should surrender it? The fact is 
that a large majority of residents of Goa are quite 
contented with their present condition. Only a 
handful of Goans resident in Goa and in India are 
shouting for the merger of Goa with India. This 
attitude is not justified and those who are 
following this course are giving unrighteous lead 

nr 

to India.”— The missions thus sided with Western 
imperialism and pooh-poohed India’s aspiration to 
reclaim national territory under foreign 
occupation. 

Finally, the Report found no substance in the 
Christian complaint that the Government of 
Madhya Pradesh was following a policy of 
discrimination against Christians. “The 
Government of Madhya Pradesh,” it said, “have 
throughout followed a policy of absolute neutrality 
and non-interference in matters concerning 
religion and allegations of discrimination against 
Christians and harassment of them by 
Government officials have not been 
established. Such allegations have been part of 
the old established policy of the Missions to 
overawe local authority and to carry on 

propaganda in foreign countries.”— 

The Report was quite clear in its larger 
perceptions. “Evangelisation in India,” it said, 
“appears to be part of the uniform world policy to 
revive Christendom for re-establishing Western 
supremacy and is not prompted by spiritual 
motives. The objective is to disrupt the solidarity 
of the non-Christian societies, and the mass 
conversion of a considerable section of Adivasis 
with this ulterior motive is fraught with danger to 

the security of the State.”— The Christian 
missions were making a deliberate and 
determined “attempt to alienate Indian Christian 

Community from their nation.”— The Community 
was most likely to become a victim of foreign 


on 

manipulations in times of crisis.— The history of 
the Christian missions provided ample proof that 
religion had been used for political 

purposes.— Evangelization was not a religious 

91 

philosophy but a force for politicisation — The 
Church in India was not independent but 
accountable to those who paid for its 
upkeep. The concept of ‘Partnership in 
Obedience’ which covered the flow of foreign 
finances to the Church was of a piece with the 
strategy of Subsidiary Alliances which the East 
India Company had employed earlier for 

furthering and consolidating its conquests.—And 
conversions were nothing but politics by other 

93 

means.— 

The recommendations made by the Report 
followed logically from these perceptions. It 
recommended that (1) those missionaries whose 
primary object is proselytisation should be asked 
to withdraw and the large influx of foreign 
missionaries should be checked; (2) the use of 
medical and other professional services as a 
direct means of making conversions should be 
prohibited by law; (3) attempts to convert by force 
or fraud or material inducements, or by taking 
advantage of a person’s inexperience or 
confidence or spiritual weakness or 
thoughtlessness, or by penetrating into the 
religious conscience of persons for the purpose of 
consciously altering their faith, should be 
absolutely prohibited; (4) the Constitution of India 
should be amended in order to rule out 
propagation by foreigners and conversions by 
force, fraud and other illicit means; (5) legislative 
measures should be enacted for controlling 
conversion by illegal means; (6) rules relating to 
registration of doctors, nurses and other 
personnel employed in hospitals should be 
suitably amended to provide a condition against 
evangelistic activities during professional service; 
and (7) circulation of literature meant for religious 
propaganda without approval of the State 

Government should be prohibited.— 


Storm in Missionary Circles 


The Report which was accompanied by two 
volumes of documentation raised a storm in 
missionary circles in India and abroad. The 
missions were in no position to dispute the facts 
presented or contest the conclusions arrived at by 
the Enquiry Committee. All they could do was to 
raise the spectre of ‘Hindu communalism’ and 
warn against the ‘danger of Hindu Raj’. It was 
said that “members of Hindu Mahasabha had 
begun to wield considerable influence” in the 
Government of Madhya Pradesh and that “their 

95 

aim was to make one Hindu state out of India.”— 

The fact of missions in India seeking financial and 
other aids from missions abroad was equated 
with the Government of India seeking “foreign 
technical knowledge and the assistance of friends 
from many European and American countries in 
the development of the nation-building 
activities.” The replacement of foreign 
missionaries was found impossible as the 
Government of India had “found impossible to 
replace foreign personnel with Indian 

personnel.”— It was promised that “in the not 
distant future the coming of missionaries from 
abroad into India will be matched by the going out 

of Indian missionaries from this country.”— The 
logic was quite in keeping with the way the 
Church in India had come to look at itself. 

If this self-image of the Church as a State within 
the State looked pretentious to some people, it 
could be accounted for only by their tendency 
towards totalitarianism. “There is a striking 
contrast,” wrote a leading theologian, M. M. 
Thomas, “between the democratic idea of the 
State and the totalitarian idea of the State which 
is both implicit and explicit in the 
Recommendations of the Niyogi Report... The 
philosophy of State underlying the Report and 
advocated by it is unashamedly totalitarian. It 
therefore is a matter of vital concern to every one 
in this country whether Christian or non-Christian 


no 

who believes in democracy.”— The test of a state 
being democratic was that it recognised and 
honoured “supranational loyalties”. In support of 
his proposition Dr. Thomas quoted Mahatma 
Gandhi who had “recognized truth and non¬ 
violence as realities demanding loyalty above the 
nation,” and President Soekarno of Indonesia 
who had “stated that Nationalism should be 

limited by Humanism”.— Thus servility to foreign 
financiers and controllers of missions in India 
became transformed into loyalty to universal 
moral values! “In deploring this,” concluded Dr. 
Thomas, “and characterising supranationalism as 
‘extraterritoriality’, the Niyogi Report has shown 
the kinship of its ideology with totalitarian 

Facism.”— 

The missions also tried to rally support from some 
persons of public standing in India. Dr. Hare 
Krishna Mahtab, then Governor of Bombay, 
obliged them readily. “We should not think,” he 
said, “of closing our doors to anyone. If we think 
in terms of exclusiveness, we shall not make any 

progress.”— But they found a hard nut in C. 
Rajagopalachari. “It seems,” he wrote to a foreign 
missionary, “you expect from me an expression of 
my views on the specific question: What type of 
missionary workers are wanted in India, rather 
than on the question whether any missionary 
workers should come at all to India? I shall 
respectfully speak my opinion on the latter point. I 
feel it is not really possible on the ground of logic 
or on the evidence of miracles to hold that 
amongst the religions known as Hinduism, 
Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity, anyone is 
nearer the truth than any other. You will permit 
me to object to the exclusive claims for Truth 
made on behalf of any one of these faiths. If this 
my first point is granted, the only justification for 
missionary work is proselytism. But is it good on 
the whole for men and women to change from 
one religion to another? I think it is not desirable 
to make any effort at proselytism. I feel that such 
efforts undermine the present faith of the people, 
which is good enough for promoting right conduct 
in them and to deter them from sin. They tend to 


destroy family and social harmony, which is not a 
good thing to do.”— 

Rajagopalachari was repeating the views 
expressed very often and very forcefully by 
Mahatma Gandhi. But the men who ran the 
Government in New Delhi could not afford to 
defend the Father of the Nation. They had to 
defend their Secularism and Democracy which 
had come under shadow in the powerful Christian 
press in India and abroad. They found the 
recommendations of the Niyogi Report “in 
discordance with the fundamental rights of the 

Constitution” and “the Report was shelved.”— 

The Government of India’s stand vis-a-vis the 
Report became clear within two months after its 
publication. In September 1956, “a question was 
raised in the Parliament about an alleged 
increase in the anti-Indian activities on the part of 
foreign Christian missionaries.” The Minister of 
State for Home Affairs, B: N. Datar, came 
promptly to their defence. “There is no factual 
basis,” he said, “for the assumption made in the 
question, according to the information available 
with the Government of India.” At the same time 
he affirmed that “no steps would be taken to 

check the work of foreign missionaries.”— 

OM PRAKASH TYAGI’S BILL 

Om Prakash Tyagi was a Janata Party Member of 
Lok Sabha elected after the Emergency (1975- 
77) in 1977. On 2 December 1978, he introduced 
in the Lok Sabha Bill No. 178 of 1978 under the 
title THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION BILL, 1978 
“to provide for prohibition on conversion from one 
religion to another by use of force, or inducement 
or by fraudulent means and for matters incidental 
there to”. The Draft of the bill was dated “New 
Delhi, The 21st November, 1978”. 

STATEMENT OF OBJECTS AND REASONS in 
the Bill stated as follows: 


One of the Fundamental Rights 
enshrined in the Constitution is the 
right to profess, practice and 
propagate religion of one’s choice. 

Conversion from one religion to 
another, done by free consent and 
will, cannot be questioned. But 
State protection is required where it 
is sought to be obtained by threat, 
undue influence, allurement or 
wrongful inducement. The 
importance of providing this 
protection to persons belonging to 
the Scheduled Castes and 
Scheduled Tribes is all the more 
necessary and cannot be ignored. 

The policy of the State should be 
directed to achieve this aim. 

The Bill had 8 sections of which the first two dealt 
with definitions. The other relevant sections were 
as under: 

3. No person shall convert or 
attempt to convert, either directly or 
otherwise, any person from one 
religious faith to another by the use 
of force or by inducement or by 
deceit or by any fraudulent means 
nor shall any person abet any such 
conversion. 

4. Any person contravening the 
provision in section 3 shall without 
prejudice to any civil liability, be 
punishable with imprisonment of 
either description which may extend 
to one year or with fine which may 
extend to three thousand rupees or 
both: 


Provided that in case 
the offence is 
committed in respect 
of a minor, woman or 



a person belonging to 
the Scheduled Caste 
or Scheduled Tribe, 
the punishment shall 
be imprisonment to 
the extent of two 
years and a fine up to 
five thousand rupees. 

5. An offence under this Act shall 
be cognisable and shall not be 
investigated by an officer below the 
rank of an Inspector of Police. 

8. The Central Government may 
make rules for the purpose of 
carrying out the provisions of this 
Act. 

The Bill followed the pattern of Bills passed by the 
Congress Governments of Orissa (1967), Madhya 
Pradesh (1968) and Arunachal Pradesh (1977) 
following the recommendations of the Niyogi and 
Rege Committees to the effect that activities of 
foreign Christian missionaries in these States had 
to be restrained. Christian organizations had 
challenged in the Supreme Court the Orissa and 
Madhya Pradesh Acts as unconstitutional. But 
the Supreme Court had dismissed their appeal in 
1977. Now the same organizations were up in 

arms once again.— 

The first shot was fired by Mother Teresa in a 
letter she wrote to Prime Minister Morarji Desai on 
25 March 1979. The text of the letter is not 
available to us. But its substance comes out in 
the reply which Desai wrote to her on 21 April 
1979. She appears to have protested against the 
Bill as a hurdle in the way of charitable and 
philanthropic activities of the Christian missions. 
She seems to have pointed out at the same time 
that the Roman Catholics were always engaged 
in praying, fasts and celebration of sacrifices 
made in the interests of peace, communal amity 
and religious freedom. Desai wrote back, “If 
charity and philanthropy is not connected with any 


ulterior motive, they are beneficial. But charity 
and conversions cannot go together. Religion 
prospers only when charity and philanthropy are 
undertaken without any motive. The Bill you have 
mentioned does not affect adversely the 
propagation of religion. In fact, the Bill is an 
attempt to see that the poor and illiterate may 
enjoy religious freedom without any fear. We 
have to be particularly vigilant about the 
Scheduled Tribes whose protection is not only 
guaranteed by the laws of the land but is also 
enshrined in the Constitution. It is our duty to 
preserve every aspect of their way of life along 
with their religion and ways of worship. No group 
belonging to any creed should interfere with their 
religion and rituals. Other organizations are also 
engaged in the philanthropic work which you 
claim. But that work can be helpful only when it is 
done without any ulterior motive. It is my opinion 
that you should revise your attitude to O.P. 

Tyagi’s Bill in the light of what I have stated.”— 

Meanwhile, Morarji Desai had met 36 delegations 
in Pune on 31 March 1979 and received their 
memoranda in connection with the Bill. He 
explicitly rejected the plea of the Christian 
delegation that the Bill which provided for 
prohibition of conversions by force should be 
withdrawn. He told Father Valerian D’Souza who 
was leading the Christian delegation that he saw 
nothing objectionable in the Bill. At the same time 
he gave the assurance that he would study the 
Bill thoroughly and try to remove the misgivings 
felt by its opponents. 

Another delegation which met him was from the 
Masur Ashram and the Patit Pavan. They 
demanded that the Bill be passed. Desai assured 
them that they (his Government) are in favour of 
the Bill and no one should have the apprehension 
that the Government would bend before any 
tactics of pressure. Kaka Joshi of Masur Ashram 
congratulated the Prime Minister for the courage 
he had shown in the matter of conversions. Joshi 
said that he was the first Prime Minister to adopt 

that attitude.— 


Leading newspapers wrote editorials and 
published articles in support of the Bill. Two 
retired High Court Judges issued statements to 
the same effect. N. Krishnaswamy, former judge 
of the Madras High court, declared on 13 April 
1979 that “This Bill is timely and Christians are 
only exposing themselves by opposing it”. Shiv 
Nath Katju, former judge of the Allahabad High 
court, said on 29 April 1979: “The Bill should be 
passed immediately. In days to come it will prove 
beneficial to all minority groups including the 

Christians.”— 

Various Hindu organizations also passed 
resolutions endorsing the Bill. The Hyderabad 
session of the Sarvadeshik Arya Pratinidhi Sabha 
held on 13 April 1979 appealed to all Sanatana 
Dharma Sabhas and organizations of Jains, Sikhs 
and Buddhists to hold meetings in support of the 
Bill and congratulate Prime Minister Morarji Desai 
for the firmness shown by him. The four 
Shankaracharyas held a joint meeting at Sringeri 
and passed a resolution in support of the Bill. Dr. 
Girdharilal Goswami, President of the Sanatana 
Dharma Maha Sammelan, issued a statement on 
7 May 1979 saying that the Bill was in keeping 
with the secular policy as well as the Constitution 
of India, and that it will prove very helpful in 
stopping the large-scale conversion of Hindus by 
foreigners who were using material inducements 

as well as force for this purpose.— 

Tyagi himself issued a statement in Hyderabad on 
15 April 1979 stating that the Bill did not prevent 
anyone from propagating one’s religion nor came 
in the way of anyone changing one’s religion out 
of conviction. If any group opposed such a just 
measure, he said, it only showed that it was guilty 
of committing offences specified in the Bill. The 
only aim of the Bill, he added, was to protect the 
large number of socially and educationally poor 
people in such backward areas as the foreign 
missionaries had chosen for effecting conversions 
with the help of money and materials brought 
from abroad. He cited the instance of 31,000 
bales of cloth which had been imported by 


missionaries for distribution among the poor 
people in Madras but which had been sold 
surreptitiously and the proceeds utilized for other 
purposes. The matter was under investigation, he 

said.— 

The Hindu of Madras dated 29 April 1979 
published a detailed report of a Press Conference 
which Tyagi had held in New Delhi on 27 April 
1979. After repeating the points he had made in 
his statement of 15 April 1979, he said that 
conversions by force naturally created tension 
between religious groups, and that such 
conversions had to be stopped in order to 
maintain- communal amity and national unity. He 
added that it was only after religious tensions 
were brought to the notice of the Governments in 
Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh 
that these Governments had felt obliged to enact 
Acts guaranteeing freedom of religion. The 
Supreme Court, he said had judged these Acts as 
consistent with the Constitution. His statement 
was followed by a question and answer session. 

In answer to the first question he said that he was 
prepared to accept any amendment to the Bill 
provided it did not violate its spirit. The Prime 
Minister Morarji Desai was in agreement with the 
intention of the Bill because he was opposed to 
conversions. The second question was whether 
he would welcome a national debate on the 
subject. Tyagi said he would welcome such a 
debate because he knew that all patriotic and 
intelligent people were in favour of the Bill, and 
that only those groups were opposed to it who 
were against national interests as well as their 
own long-term interests. His observation in 
answer to a third question was that foreign 
missionaries who were entrenched in backward 
areas and among backward people were bent 
upon exploiting the poverty of our people and that 
the Government could exercise no control on the 
flow of foreign funds nor supervise use of those 
funds. He added that ostensibly these funds 
were meant for opening schools but were actually 
used for some other purposes. The fourth 
question demanded evidence about the misuse of 
foreign funds and materials. Tyagi cited the 


Niyogi and Rege Committees’ reports in this 
context. The fifth question asked was why 
Christians were opposed to the Bill. Tyagi’s 
answer was that he knew it for definite that there 
was a foreign hand at the back of this opposition 
and that conversions were politically motivated. 
The spectre of Hindu Rashtra, he added, had 
been raised in order to frighten the minorities. He 
assured the minorities that there was no ground 
for their misgivings so far as propagation of 
religion and genuine conversions were 
concerned. The sixth question was regarding the 
need for concrete steps to remove the fear of the 
minorities. Tyagi cited the Acts in Orissa and 
Madhya Pradesh and wanted to know instances 
of their being misused. The fear felt by the 
minorities had no legs to stand upon. The 
seventh and the last question was whether the 
Bill would not harm the Janata Party by causing 
division in its ranks. Tyagi dismissed the question 
by saying that only power hungry and opportunist 
elements were talking about the harmful effect of 
the Bill on the Janata Party, and that the Bill 
should not be dropped due to fear of a temporary 
controversy if it was fundamentally a right step in 

the interest of the nation.— 

It was, however, true that the Janata Party at this 
time was riven with sharp controversies, though 
not on account of Tyagi’s Bill. It was also true 
that the Socialist group within the Janata Party 
led by George Fernandez was demanding that 
the Bill be withdrawn. The Communist Party of 
India could not miss the opportunity and raised 
the matter in the Lok Sabha. The CPI Member, 
Bhupesh Gupta, alleged on the floor of the House 
on 3 May 1979 that there was widespread 
resentment against the Bill among various 
communities and that it had actually led to large- 
scale rioting in Jammu and Kashmir. He pleaded 
that the Government should withdraw the Bill. H. 
M. Patel, Home Minister in the Janata Party 
Government, clarified that Tyagi’s Bill was a 
Private Bill on which the Government had yet to 
make up its mind. He added that the Government 
could not withdraw a Private Bill. Regarding riots 
in Kashmir, Patel said that Tyagi’s Bill had nothing 


to do with them and that they had been caused by 

112 

the hanging of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. — 

A few months later the Janata Party split and the 
Morarji Government had to resign. Tyagi’s Bill 
could not even be discussed in the Parliament. It 
became infectious. An opportunity for enacting 
an all-India legislation against conversions by 
force, fraudulent means and material 
inducements was missed. 

ARUN SHOURIE 

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India 
(CBCI), the highest body of the Catholic Church in 
India, was celebrating its 50th anniversary in 
January 1994. Arun Shourie, the noted scholar- 
journalist, was invited by the CBCI to give “Hindu 
assessment of the work of Christian missionaries” 
in a meeting held at the Ishvani Kendra Seminary 
at Pune on 5 January 1994. Many Archbishops, 
Bishops, senior clergy and Christian scholars 
from all over India were present. The meeting 
lasted for more than two hours. His lecture was 
followed by a question and answer session. 
Everyone present seemed to be pleased and 
Arun Shourie was invited to write a paper on his 
talk so that it could be included in a volume 
containing the proceedings of anniversary 
celebration. He finished the paper pretty soon 
and sent it to the Secretary of the CBCI. 

The CBCI had, however, used the occasion to 
review the work of the Catholic Church in India. 
The discussions were guided by two documents 
prepared in advance - Trends and Issues in 
Evangelization of India Based on the CBCI 
Survey Reports’ and ‘Paths in India Today: Our 
Common Search [submitted by] CBCI 
Commission for Proclamation and 
Communication Working Group’. Arun Shourie 
had received two sets of these documents - one 
which came to him in New Delhi along with the 
invitation for his lecture and another when he 
reached the venue of the meeting at Pune. 


As he studied these documents, Arun Shourie felt 
that the paper he had sent to the CBCI had not 
done full justice to the subject. So he delved 
deeper into the theology of Christianity and its 
history in India and studied a lot of primary 
material - the writings and speeches of important 
British administrators like T.B. Macaulay, Charles 
Trevelyan and Richard Temple; works of 
outstanding scholar-missionaries such as Max 
Muller and Monier-Williams; evidence tendered by 
leading Christian missionaries in 1853 before a 
Select Committee of the British Parliament 
regarding prospects of Christianity in India and 
the responsibility of the Christian ruling power in 
that context; report of the Simon Commission 
published in 1930; reports of the Rege and Niyogi 
Committees regarding missionary activities in 
Madhya Bharat and Madhya Pradesh published 
in 1956, etc. At the same time he acquired an 
adequate knowledge of Hindu response to the 
missionary assault from the Collected Works of 
Mahatma Gandhi and the Complete Works of 
Swami Vivekananda. He also discovered that the 
earlier Hindu response had not only been 
silenced but actually reversed in the post¬ 
independence India so that India’s intellectual 
elite had started speaking the missionary 
language vis-a-vis Hinduism with a vengeance in 
the name of Secularism. The result of this 
painstaking research was a whole book - 
Missionaries in India: Continuities, Changes, 
Dilemmas - published from New Delhi in 1994. 

The starting point of Shourie’s review of 
Christianity was his grasp of the hoary Indian 
traditions which the Christian missionaries had 
chosen to calumniate and erase so that their own 
creed could be imposed on the people of this 
country. “The traditions of India,” he wrote, “were 
rich as can be. They had attained insights of the 
first water... And they were inclusive. A person 
devoted to a tree was not traduced as an 
‘animist’, a person devoted to a bull or an 
elephant, or a lion or a snake or even the lowly 
mouse was not laughed away. The objects of his 
devotion were received with reverence - they 
became parts of a pantheon... Nor was this 



artifice. The inclusiveness flowed from deep 
conviction, from what had been experienced at 
the deepest... But no one could impede reform by 
an appeal to ‘fundamentals’, for these, 
fundamentals made the individual’s own 
experience the ultimate referent. That everything 
should reform and transform, the tradition 
regarded as natural. Differences were 

harmonised through discourse...”— 

“But all this,” he continued, “the missionaries 
traduced. The inclusiveness they condemned as 
a sinister stratagem to swallow up other religions. 
The efflorescence of different speculations they 
condemned as cacophony. The openness and 
tentativeness they condemned as intellectual 
flabbiness. The inner directed search they 
condemned as morbid self-denial. The offering of 
many ways they condemned as unsettled mush. 
The many gods they condemned as chaos. What 
had become the norm for Islam was made the 
norm for Christianity: freedom of speech meant 
the freedom to discover its glories... Asymmetry 
was the principle as in the case of Islam; 
conversion was held to be and acted upon as 
something that was an essential principle of 
Christianity; but when a person like Swami 
Shraddhananda argued in favour of taking back 
into the Hindu fold the converts who wanted to 
return, they were condemned as persons who 
were inventing a practice for which there was no 

warrant in Hinduism.”— 

Why do the missionaries speak as they do? Why 
do they fail to understand the richness of Indian 
traditions and appreciate its various dimensions? 
Shourie answers the question after reproducing a 
dialogue between Mahatma Gandhi and 
Professor Krzenski, a Professor of Philosophy 
from Poland, who maintained that Christianity was 
the only true religion. “For the position that 
Krzenski was articulating,” observes Shourie, “is 
the standard position, it is the ineluctable position 
that every adherent of a revelatory, millenniast 
religion must take. The premises of such 
religions - of Christianity, of Islam, of Marxism- 


Leninism-Maoism - are that there is One Truth, 
that it has been revealed to One Man... that it has 
been enshrined by him or on his behalf in One 
Book... that the text is very difficult to grasp and 
therefore one must submit to and be guided by 
One (external, overarching) Agency... Now, as the 
Millennium shall come only when, but immediately 
when all accept the Revelation, it is the duty of 
the Agency... to see that everyone sees The 
Light. If, even after The Light has been shown to 
a person he refuses to subscribe to it, he must be 
put out of harm’s way. For in that circumstance 
the man is not only harming himself, he is coming 
in the way of the Mandate of God, of Allah’s Will, 
or as in Marxism, History... What must be done 
also follow inevitably from those premises: the 
Church must convert, Lenin and Mao must export 
the Revolution, Khomeini must export the 
Revelation. These are inescapable 

responsibilities.”— 

Coming to Christianity, Shourie continues, 
“Conversions have therefore been going on for 
2000 years... An incredibly vast organization has 
been built up and incredibly huge resources are 
expanded to save souls. It costs ‘145 billion 
dollars to operate global Christianity’, records a 
book on evangelization. The Church commands 
four million full time Christian workers, it runs 
13000 major libraries, it published 22000 
periodicals, it publishes four billion tracts a year, it 
operates 1800 Christian Radio and TV stations. It 
runs 1500 universities, and 930 research 
centres. It has a quarter of a million foreign 
missionaries, and over four hundred institutions to 
train them. And these are figures from a book 
published in 1989 - since then there has been the 

4 A O 

surge in Eastern Europe and Russia.”— 

India has been a major target for Christian 
missions since the Portuguese pirates reached its 
shores. Shourie quotes from the Mission 
Handbook: North American Ministries Overseas 
published in 1986. “Today,” it says, “the most 
fruitful ministries are carried by more than 
100,000 pastors, evangelists and preachers. Full 


time Indian missionaries from organized societies 
increased from 420 in 1973 to 2941 societies in 
1983. These missionaries have seen remarkable 
growth in northern India in places such as Bihar, 
Orissa, West Bengal, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, 
Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, and Sikkim. In Western 
India, Christian workers estimate that two new 
worship groups are formed every week through 
indigenous missionary effort. The Indian 
Evangelist Team has set a goal of 2,000 new 
churches by the year 2000. In Tamil Nadu, the 
Indian Church Growth Mission hopes to plant 

1,000 churches in unreached villages.”— 

The missions have stopped at nothing in what 
one of their own theologians describes as the 
“game of numbers”. Shourie continues, “There 
are volumes upon volumes that document the 
way the Church has spread by violence - in North 
and South America. The sudden jumps in the 
number of adherents during famines and other 
privations, testify to the use to which such times 

were put...”— He mentions a chapter, ‘Spiritual 
Advantages of Famine and Cholera’, in a Catholic 
publication, India and Its Missions, brought out in 
1823. The chapter carries a report from the 
Archbishop of Pondicherry to his superiors in 
Europe. This high dignitary of the Catholic 
Church exults, “The famine has wrought 
miracles. The catechumenates are filling, 
baptismal water flows in streams, and starving 
little tots fly in masses to heaven... A hospital is a 
readymade congregation. There is no need to go 
into the highways and hedges and ‘compel them 

to come in’. They send each other.”— 

The best part of Shourie’s study, however, dwells 
- and dwells at length on the ‘Division of Labour’ 
between British administrators and Christian 
missionaries, and between the two of them and 
the Indologists. These three groups might have 
differed among themselves about the means and 
methods to be employed. “But in fact none of the 
three groups had any difference over the ultimate 
objectives - the conversion of the heathens to 
Christianity; and the extension and perpetuation 


of British rule... All eventually came to agree on 
the following: 


1. India is a den of ignorance, 
iniquity and falsehood; 

2. The principal cause of this state 
of affairs in Hinduism; 

3. Hinduism is kept going by the 
Brahmins; 

4. As the people are in such 
suffering and also because Jesus in 
his parting words has bound us to 
do so, it is a duty to deliver them to 
Christianity; 

5. For this it is that ‘the walls of the 
mighty fortress of Brahminism’ are 
to be ‘encircled, undermined and 
finally stormed by the soldiers of the 
Cross’; 

6. To do so the most effective 
weapon will of course be the 
enlargement, consolidation and 
indefinite prolongation of British 
rule; 

7. For the Government to exert 
directly to spread Christianity will 
ignite resentment among the 
natives, so, it should maintain a 
position of neutrality; 

8. Its contribution will none the less 
be decisive; to take just the 
Government schools, their 
emphasis on the English language 
itself will open students to 
Christianity, their imparting modern 
notions of science and geography 
will by itself undermine and 
eventually finish Hinduism - for it is 



not a religion that can stand a 
‘moment’s scrutiny’... Hindu notions 
of time, space, geography, 
history... are bound to be not just 
shown up but utterly destroyed with 
the first wafts of western learning; 

9. The work of the missionaries will 
in turn help in the consolidation and 
perpetuation of British rule; not just 
the converts but all those who have 
been weaned on western learning 
and values will seek the 
perpetuation of that rule for their 
own interest; 

10. The work of the scholars - of 
missionary scholars and scholar- 
missionaries will expose the roots 
of Brahminism and thereby uproot 
everything that has flowed from it. 

11. In the natural course, the 
missionaries will be focussing 
particularly on the outcastes and 
the tribals. Hindu society - such as 
it is - will be rent asunder; 

12. The work of the scholars will 
have a similar effect... it will widen 
the earth-faults in Hinduism and 
thus prepare the way for 
Christianity; it will convert the 
fissures between the people into 
earth-faults and thus perpetuate 
British rule. 

“Having been brought up on books which made 
British conquest of India to have been an 
accident, if not something which the Indians 
dragged the unwilling British to accomplish, I 
myself would have been inclined to view a listing 
of this kind as an ex post construction, as reading 
design into events which happened 
spontaneously and quite independently of one 
another. One look at the writings of the principal 



scholars, of the chief administrators and most of 
all at the writings and memoranda of missionaries 
and missionary societies is enough to dispel that 
120 

presupposition.”— 

Shourie devotes several chapters to verbatism 
citations of strategies suggested by some leading 
administrators, missionaries and scholars. He 
concludes, “In a word, the work of the Church was 
not done by the missionaries alone, the religiously 
‘neutral’ administrators did a good bit of it. 
Correspondingly, the work of the Empire was not 
done by administrators alone, the missionaries 
did a good bit of it. And that contribution was 
acknowledged by ruler after ruler.” He quotes 
Lord Palmerston, Lord Halifax, Lord Reay and Sir 
Macworth Young about the missionaries being 
“an additional source of strength to the 

Empire”.— 

In a chapter, ‘Creating -Vacuums, filling them’, 
which carries more citations from the same 
sources, Shourie observes, “Several things strike 
one as one reads the writings and speeches of 
those days. First of course there is the candour: 
political power is what induced it - there was no 
reason to be circumlocutory, there was no fear 
that any one of consequence would take offence 
as no one else was of much consequence. The 
second thing is that in spite of the incessant 
frequency and explicitness with which all 
concerned spelled out their objectives and 
stratagems, these are no where in our collective 

consciousness.”— 

That leads him to raising a very pertinent 
question: “I hope the reader will not just read 
through the examples but will also ask why it is 
that such material is not placed before our 
students. After all it is not difficult to come by, 
and, as the reader will agree after going through 
it, it has the most direct bearing on our 
denationalization. Yet, even though he may have 
considerable interest in our current problems, 
even though he may have been following closely 
the public discourse on such problems, in all 


probability the reader would not have come 

123 

across the material. Why is this so?” — 

His answer to the question is as follows: 

In large part no doubt because of 
the thoroughness with which the 
colonial design came to be carried 
out. Macaulay’s design to create “a 
class of persons, Indian in blood 
and colour, but English in taste, in 
opinions, in morals, and in 
intellect”. Sir Charles’ reading his 
prognosis, written in 1838: 

“Familiarly acquainted with us by 
means of our literature, the Indian 
youth almost ceases to regard us 
as foreigners. They speak of our 
great men as we do. Educated in 
the same way, interested in the 
same objects, engaged in the same 
pursuits with ourselves, they 
become more English than 
Hindus...” 

But there is an even more potent 
cause for the near total erasure of 
such material from our public 
discourse and our instruction. And 
that is the form of “secularism” 
which we have practised these forty- 
five years: a “secularism” in which 
double-standards have been the 
norm, one in which everything that 
may remove the dross by which our 
national identity has been covered 

has become anathema.— 

The last section of Shourie’s book is mostly an 
analysis of the two CBCI documents which show 
that though adjustments in language and 
methods have been made after India became 
independent, missionary goals remain the same. 
The questions that were put to him at the end of 
his lecture at Pune remind us of the questions 
which Mahatma Gandhi had faced and 


answered. The questions were the same 
because the mind which had asked them has 
remained unchanged. But spokesman after 
spokesman on behalf of Christianity assured 
Shourie that the Church had changed and its old 
record should not be held against it. Shourie laid 
down five tests in this context: 

First, we will know the Church has 
truly changed when it undertakes 
and disseminates an honest 
accounting of the calumnies it 
heaped on India and Hinduism... 

The second thing to look for would 
be the extent to which the Church 
acquaints Christians in India as well 
as the groups it is aiming at with the 
results of scholarly work on two 
central claims of the Church - that 
the Bible is the revealed word of 
God, that it is wholly free from error, 
and that the Church, in particular 
the Pope in infallible... 

Similarly, developments in various 
sciences have caused a sea-shift in 
what is sustainable and what is not 
in regard to creation, evolution, the 
division between man and other 
forms of life, between mind and 
matter. The third bit of litmus would 
therefore be what is the extent to 
which the Church in India is 
disseminating information amongst 
its flock and its target groups about 
the consequence these 
developments have for its basic 
premises? 

The fourth bit of litmus would be the 
extent to which the Church 
overcomes its present tremulous 
anxieties regarding dialogue and 
the opening up to other faiths. And 
that would happen only when what 



is today just a grudging 
acknowledgement that salvation is 
possible through other faiths 
becomes an acceptance, when the 
current condescension and 
grudging admission... give way to a 
wholehearted acceptance of the 
fact that reality is indeed 
multilayered, that there are many 
ways of perceiving it, that each 
must assess for himself by an inner- 
directed search which is liable to be 
the most effective for him or her at 
that time... 

Finally, of course there is the 
question of conversions. In view of 
the fact, now proclaimed by the 
Church, that salvation is possible in 
each religion, what is the ground for 
converting people to Christianity, 
particularly by the sorts of means 
which we saw are in use in the 
North-East to this day? The litmus 
test of the new ecumenism would 
therefore be the extent to which the 
Church brings its traditional zeal for 
saving souls through conversion in 
line with this new 

acknowledgement.— 

Missionary Response 

Fr. Augustine Kanjamala, Secretary of the CBCI, 
who had invited Shourie for the lecture at Pune 
and who had been amiability itself before 
Shourie’s indictment appeared in print, now came 
out in his true colours. He was in the forefront of 
a campaign which was launched by the Catholic 
scribes in various newspapers, especially in 
publications of the Catholic Church. Shourie was 
attacked personally and distorted accounts of his 
book were flashed. As the campaign against 
Shourie snowballed, Prajna Bharati, an 
intellectual forum with headquarters in 
Hyderabad, invited several senior churchmen to 


discuss Missionaries in India with Shourie on a 
public platform. All of them declined the invitation 
on one plea or the other except Kanjamala who 
accepted to appear on the platform provided he 
was given the opportunity to present a critique of 
Shourie’s book to start with. Shourie agreed and 
an interesting debate took place on 4 September 
1994. 

Arun Shourie took care of all points raised by 
Kanjamala, and emphasized that the change in 
missionary language and theological blah blah 
was not due to any change in missionary 
mentality and objectives but had been induced by 
the collapse of Christianity in its traditional 

1 PR 

homelands in the West.— 

MANGAL PRABHAT LODHA’S BILL 

A BJP Member of Maharashtra Legislative 
Assembly, Mangal Prabhat Lodha, introduced Bill 
No. XLII of 1996 in the Nagpur session of the 
Assembly on 20 December 1996. It was titled “A 
Bill to provide for prohibition of conversion from 
one religion to another by the use of force or 
allurement or by fraudulent means and for matters 
incidental thereto.” Drafted on 29 October 1996 
the Bill says as follows in its STATEMENT OF 
OBJECTS AND REASONS: 

Conversion in its very essence 
involves an act of undermining 
one’s faith. The process becomes 
all the more objectionable when it is 
brought about by taking recourse to 
methods like allurement, force, 
fraud and exploitation of one’s 
poverty. Conversion or attempt to 
conversion in the above manner, 
besides creating various 
maladjustments in social life, also 
give rise to problems of law and 
order and also indirectly impinge on 
the freedom of religion. It is, 
therefore, expedient to provide for 
measures for checking such 


activities. 


The Bill seeks to achieve the above 
objectives. 

Clauses 1 and 2 of the Bill are devoted to 
definitions of various terms used in the Bill. The 
operative clauses are 3 to 6 which read as under 

3. No person shall convert or 
attempt to convert either directly or 
otherwise, any person from one 
religious faith to another by the use 
of force or by allurement or by any 
fraudulent means nor shall any 
person abet any such conversion. 

4. Any person contravening the 
provisions contained in section 3 
shall without prejudice to any civil 
liability be punishable with 
imprisonment which may extend to 
one year or with fine which may 
extend to five thousand rupees or 
with both: 


Provided that, in case the offence is 
committed in respect of a minor, a 
woman or a person belonging to the 
Scheduled Castes or Scheduled 
Tribes the punishment shall be 
imprisonment to the extent of two 
years and fine up to ten thousand 
rupees. 

5. (1) Whoever converts any person 
from one religious faith to another 
either by performing himself the 
ceremony for such conversion as a 
religious priest or by taking part 
directly or indirectly in such 
ceremony shall, within such period, 
after the ceremony as may be 
prescribed send an intimation to the 
District Magistrate of the district in 



which the ceremony has taken 
place of the facts of such 
conversion in the prescribed form. 

(2) If any person fails without 
sufficient reasons to comply with 
the provisions contained in sub¬ 
section (1) he shall be punishable, 
with imprisonment which may 
extend to one year or with fine 
which may extend to one thousand 
rupees or with both. 

6. An offence under this Act shall 
be cognizable and shall be 
investigated by an officer not below 
the rank of an Inspector of police. 

Introducing the Bill in the Assembly as a Freedom 
of Religion Bill, Lodha said, “It is a matter of pride 
to introduce this Bill in the Assembly session at 
Nagpur which is the headquarters of the 
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Such a Bill was 
passed in Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and 
Arunachal Pradesh in the wake of the Niyogi 
Committee’s Report, and later on the Supreme 
Court had also approved it. Religious conversion 
is brought about at first and, in due course, a 
change of nationality takes place. At the time of 
independence there were nearly 250 Christian 
families in Nagaland. Today, in the same 
Nagaland 85 per cent families have become 
Christian, and missionaries are demanding that 
the State be declared a Christian State... Only 
yesterday the newspapers in Bombay published 
the news that Christian missionaries have fixed a 
target of one lakh conversions in Maharashtra. 
Conversions are continuing by means of force, 
allurements, and use of foreign funds. Not to 
speak of tribal areas and remote villages, 
conversions are going on in prominent areas of 
Bombay city itself. Christian missionaries deem it 
their duty to convert Hindus to Christianity. The 
Constitution recognizes everyone’s right to 
practice one’s religion, but assault on another 
religion is neither a legal nor a moral right... I 
appeal to the Honourable Chief Minister to get 



this Bill passed... 


But Lodha, it seems, had counted without the 
power of the Catholic Church. In early January 
1997 Cardinal Simon Pimenta, Bishop Thomas 
Dabre and Fr. Denis Pereira, Secretary 
Archdiocesan Board of Education (ABE) met the 
Chief Minister, Manohar Joshi, who assured the 
Catholic community not to be anxious about the 
introduction of the anti-conversion Bill by a BJP 
MLA since this Bill was a Private Bill. The Bill 
was never beard of again in the Maharashtra 
Assembly although leading newspapers in 
Maharashtra had come out in its support. 

The finishing touch to the controversy wag given 
by L.K. Advani, President of the BJP. In a press 
interview in Chennai on 4 May 1997 he declared 
that his party “did not believe in use of legislation” 
to stop conversions. 


Footnotes: 

1K.M. Panikkar, Asia and Western 
Dominance, London (1953), Seventh 
Impression, 1967, p. 15. 

2 Ibid., p. 314. 

3 Ibid., p. 297. 

4 Ibid., pp. 279-80. 

$ Ibid., p. 25. 

^Ibid., p. 27. 

Ubid., p. 34. 

®lbid., p. 45. 


$ Ibid., p. 280. 


™lbid., p. 280. 
lllbid., p. 28 1. 

Mlbid., p. 283. 

I3|bid., P- 290. 

Mlbid., pp. 290-91. 
Mlbid., p. 291. 
lllbid., p. 242. 
iZibid., p. 249. 

Mlbid., p. 295. 

Mlbid., p. 282. 

Mlbid., p. 288. 

Mlbid., p. 289. 

Mlbid., p. 242. 

Mlbid., pp. 67 and 289. 
Mlbid., pp. 66-67. 
Mlbid., p. 293. 

Mlbid., pp. 56-57. 
Mlbid., pp. 282-83. 
Mlbid., p. 58. 

Mlbid., P. 283. 


Mlbid., p. 286. 

Mlbid., pp. 286-87. 

Mlbid., p. 287. 

Mlbid., pp. 287-88. 

Mlbid., pp. 291-92. 

Mlbid., pp. 292-93. 

Mlbid., p. 13 8. 

Mlbid., pp. 138-39. 

Mlbid., p. 149. 

Mlbid., pp. 150-51,254, 259, 267. 
Mlbid., p. 296. 

41lbid., pp. 296-97. 

42|bid., p. 294. 

43|bid., p. 163. 

Mlbid., p. 164. 

Mlbid., pp. 273-74. 

Mlbid., p. 171. Emphasis in source.. 
Mlbid., pp. 172-73. 

Mlbid., pp. 272-73. 

Mlbid., p. 27 1. 


Mlbid., pp. 294-95. 


siFelix Alfred Planner, The Catholic 
Church in India: Yesterday and Today, 
Allahabad, 1964, p. 14. 


52 Report of the Christian Missionaries 
Enquiry Committee Madhya Pradesh, 
Nagpur, 1956, Volume I, Appendix II. 

53|bid., Part I, p. 23. 

Mlbid., p. 4. 

ssibid., p. 13. 

56|bid., p. 4. 

5Zlbid. 

ssibid. Part 11, Chapter R. 

59|bid., p. 49. 
soibid., pp. 50-51. 
silbid., Part H, Chapter Rl. 

62|bid. pp. 59-60. 

EWorld Christian Council. 
^International Missionary Council. 
65|bid., p. 54. Emphasis in source. 
66|bid., p. 94. 

6Zlbid., Part III, pp. 95-129. 


esibid., p. 99. 


69|bid„ p. 102. 

ZOlbid., p. 100. 

Zllbid., p. 102. 

Zilbid., p. 96. 

Z3|bid., p. 103. 

Zllbid., p. 105. 

Z5|bid., p. 113. 

Zllbid., p. 115. 

ZZlbid., p. 116. 

Z8|bid., pp. 118-122. 
Zllbid., p. 119. 
soibid., p. 121. 

Silbid., pp. 122-123. 
^Ibid., p. 123. 
ssibid., pp. 123-124. 
Mlbid., P. 125. 

85|bid., P. 126. 

86|bid„ Part IV, p. 132. 
8Zlbid. 

ssibid., p. 144. 

89|bid., pp. 145-148. 


90|bid., pp. 148-149. 

silbid., p. 149. 

92|bid., pp. 149-150. 

93|bid., pp. 151-152. 

Mlbid., pp. 163-64. 

95Felix Alfred Planner, op. cit., p. 10. 

vs The National Christian Council Review, 
October 1956, p. 403. 

97lbid. p. 405. 

98|bid„ P. 395. 

99|bid., pp. 395-96. 

looibid., pp. 396-97 

loilbid., p. 397. 

i^lbid., December 1956, p. 490. 

103Felix Alfred Plattner, op. cit., p. 11. 
IMlbid., p. 7. 

IQSWhat follows is taken from a Hindu 
booklet, Dharma SvAtantrya Vidheyaka 
KyoN?, written and published by 
Raghunath Prasad Pathak, Delhi. The 
publication carries no date but seems to 
have been published after May of 1979. I 
have translated from Hindi. 


loeibid., p. 42. 


IQZlbid., p. 41. 
losibid., p. 33. 

±09|bid., pp. 24-25. 

HOlbid., pp. 3-5. 

Hllbid., pp. 5-10. 
ll^ibid., PP- 42-43. 

IJ^Arun Shourie, Missionaries in India, 
New Delhi, 1994, pp. 41-42. 

H4|bid., p. 43. 

H5|bid., pp. 12-13. 

±16|bid., pp. 13-14. Emphasis in source.. 
IQZlbid., pp. 14-15. 

H^lbid., p. 15. 

±19|bid., p. 16. ‘Compel them to come in’ 
is with reference to the Gospel of St. Luke 
14.23 which has been used by Christian 
missions as a divine command to use all 
means including force for getting converts. 

120|bid., pp. 58-60. I have numbered the 
12 points while Shourie has marked them 
by squares; I have also left out some 
passages from some of the points which 
Shourie has elaborated at greater length. 

I21lbid., p . 109. 

i22|bid„ p. 161. 

123|bid., p. x. 



124|bid., pp. x-xi. 

125|bid., pp. 229-30. 

l^Full details of the missionary response 
to Arun Shourie’s book and the debate that 
followed can be read in Arun Shourie and 
His Christian Critic, Voice of India, New 
Delhi, 1995 and History of Hindu-Christian 
Encounters (AD 304 to 1996), Voice of 
India, New Delhi, 1996, pp. 465-82. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 






No. 993 


CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY ACTIVITIES 
ENQUIRY COMMITTEE, 
MADHYA PRADESH 


FROM 


Dr. M. B. Niyogi, M.A., LL.M., LL.D. 
(Hon.), Kt., C.I.E., 

Chairman, Christian Missionary 
Activities Enquiry Committee, 
Madhya Pradesh, Nagpur, 


To 

Shri K. B. L. Seth, I.C.S., 

Chief Secretary to Government, 
Madhya Pradesh, Nagpur. 


Nagpur, 18th April, 1956. 

SIR, 

I forward herewith the report of the Christian 
Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee 
appointed by the Government of Madhya 
Pradesh, by Resolution No. 318-716-V-Con., 
dated the 14th April, 1954, to enquire into the 
activities of the Christian Missionaries in Madhya 
Pradesh, and other matters. 

2. The particulars of the process of the enquiry 
are fully set forth in the opening part of the 
Report. The Committee are presenting their 
report containing their conclusions on facts as 
contemplated in the Terms of Reference, as also 
their Recommendations. The Committee are 
unanimous as to their recommendations on the 
question. 



3. There has been, indeed, a delay which may 
appear inordinate in the preparation of the 
Report, but this was unavoidable for the reasons 
that the members could not devote their full time 
to the task on account of their usual 
preoccupations with their professional work and 
that considerable time was taken up with the visits 
of the Committee to some of the most interior and 
almost inaccessible rural areas inhabited mostly 
by Tribals who form the chief target of Missionary 
activity. To study the question from the historical 
point of view many books had to be referred to 
and as some of the books were not readily 
available they had to be obtained from the open 
market. 

4. At the concluding stages of its labours 
judgment was delivered by the Nagpur High Court 
in the petition filed by Shri G. X. Francis under 
Article 226 of the Constitution of India. In 
discussing the petition their Lordships considered 
the powers of State Governments in appointing 
such Committees, the extent to which such 
Committees can enquire into facts, the extent of 
religious liberty guaranteed in our Constitution 
and the extent to which State Governments car, 
restrict or regulate the activities of religious 
bodies. Independently of this judgment the 
Committee had come to almost the same 
conclusions, and the suggestions made therein 
fully considered by them. It may be stated that 
throughout their deliberations the Committee were 
guided solely by the necessity to maintain intact 
the solidarity and security of the country, to 
prevent disruption of society and culture, and to 
emphasise the essential secular character of the 
Constitution. If they have drawn attention to 
certain disruptive tendencies inherent in, or 
incidental to, the exercise of certain liberties in 
matters of religion, they have done so not with a 
view to curtailing individual rights and freedom, 
but to the exercise thereof in a manner consistent 
with public order, morality and health. After all, 
the goodwill of the majority community in any 
country is the greatest and the safest guarantee 
for the fulfilment of Constitutional obligations, 
even more than law courts or executive 



authorities. The Committee have noted with great 
satisfaction that amongst a large section of 
Christian people there is a realization of this basic 
factor. The Committee hope that their 
recommendations will lead to further searching of 
the heart. They have touched upon some highly 
controversial matters and would, therefore, 
request Government to elicit public opinion before 
taking any action. 

5. I take this opportunity to tendering for myself 
and on behalf of the Committee, heart-felt thanks 
to all those, including the Missionaries, who gave 
to the Committee the benefit of their knowledge of 
facts, and their views, by personally appearing 
before the Committee or by sending their 
memoranda in response to the Questionnaire 
issued to them. The public spirit, which prompted 
them to accord their ready and willing co¬ 
operation, merits high appreciation. 
Acknowledgment of indebtedness is also due to 
those in the Committee’s office, who rendered 
valuable assistance in various ways, as also to 
the Member-Secretary of the Committee, who 
rendered considerable help to the Chairman in 
drafting the report and last but not the least to 
those who assisted in the enquiry in the role of 
amicus curiae. 


Yours faithfully, 
M.B. NIYOGI. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 







REPORT OF THE CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY 
ACTIVITIES ENQUIRY COMMITTEE, MADHYA 

PRADESH 


VOLUME I 

PART I 

CHAPRER I. - INTRODUCTION 

The Christian Missionary Activities Enquiry 
Committee was appointed by a Resolution of the 
Government of Madhya Pradesh No. 318-716-V- 
Con., dated the 14th of April, 1954 (Appendix I). 

2. It was represented to Government from time to 
time that the conversion of illiterate aboriginals 
and other backward people was effected by the 
Christian Missionaries either forcibly or through 
fraud or temptations of monetary gain, and the 
Government were informed that the feelings of 
non-Christians were being offended by 
conversions brought about by such methods. 

The Christian Missionaries repudiated before 
Government these allegations and charged local 
officials and non-Christians of harassment and as 
the State Government found that an agitation was 
growing on either side, it considered it desirable 
in. the public interest to have a thorough enquiry 
made into the whole question. This Committee 
was, therefore, appointed, with Dr. M. Bhawani 
Shankar Niyogi, M.A., LL.M., LL.D., Ex-Chairman, 
Public, Service Commission, Madhya Pradesh, 
and retired Chief Justice, High Court of judicature 
at Nagpur, as Chairman, and Shri Ghanshyam 
Singh Gupta, B.Sc., LL.B., Ex-Speaker, Madhya 
Pradesh Legislative Assembly, Durg, Shri Seth 
Govind Das, M. P., Jabalpur, Shri Kirtimant Rao, 
B.A. M.L.A., Ahiri, Tahsil Sironcha, District 
Chanda, Shri S. K. George, M.A., B.D., Professor, 
Commerce College, Wardha, and Shri B. P. 
Pathak, M.A., LL.B., Secretary to Government, 




Madhya Pradesh, Public Health Department, as 
members. Seth Govind Das resigned 
membership on 8th May, 1954 due to his 
preoccupation with other work and was 
substituted by Shri Ratanlal Malviya, B.A., LL.B., 
M. P., Manendragarh, (vide Resolution No. 419- 
860-V-Con., dated 8th May, 1954). On his 
appointment to the Madhya Pradesh Cabinet, 

Shri Kirtimant Rao also resigned and was 
succeeded by Shri Bhanupratapsingh Giri Raj 
Singh Deo, M.P., of Komakhan, Tahsil 
Mahasamund, District Raipur, (vide Resolution 
No. 18-279-XXX-MR, dated 4th January, 1955). 

3. The Committee was entrusted with the task of 
making a thorough enquiry into the whole 
question and to make recommendations on a 
review thereof from historical and other points of 
view. 

4. The Committee was authorised to frame its 
own procedure for conducting the enquiry and to 
appreciate the circumstances in which the 
Government considered it necessary to appoint 
this Committee, access to certain files of 
Government was permitted. On going through all 
the relevant material, the Committee thought it 
necessary and desirable to meet representative 
members of the contestant parties at various 
important centres in the State and to ascertain the 
specific points in the controversy. The Committee 
undertook a tour of the following 14 districts 


(1) Raigarh. 

(8) Akola. 

(2) Surguja. 

(9) Buldana. 

(3) Raipur. 

(10) Mandla. 

(4) Bilaspur. 

(11) Jabalpur. 

(5) Amravati. 

(12) Betul. 

(6) Nimar. 

(13) Chhindwara. 

(7) Yeotmal. 

(14) Balaghat. 










Seventy-seven centres were visited and an 
approximate number of 11,360 people were 
contacted. 375 written statements were received 
and the Committee took down notes at each 
centre. To gain firsthand knowledge of the 
working of the various Mission institutions, the 
Committee visited institutions like hospitals, 
schools, churches, leper homes, hostels, etc., 
maintained by the various Missions operating in 
Madhya Pradesh and also had an opportunity of 
contacting local people amongst whom activities 
of the Missions were carried on and also the 
areas in which the various Missions were 
functioning. A copy of the tour programme is 
appended (Vol. II). The persons whom we 
interviewed came from about 700 villages and the 
statements of a large number of spokesmen from 
amongst them were recorded. 

5. On the vital matter of religion, which is 
ordinarily surcharged with emotion, occasionally 
there was a flare-up of vehemence but such 
occasions were extremely rare, as ample 
precaution was taken at the outset of the 
proceedings to explain the object of the enquiry 
as being to clear up doubts and disputes that may 
exist and to promote goodwill, friendliness and 
peace among the various sections of the people. 
The exploratory work of the Committee 
accordingly proceeded very smoothly and 
helpfully, except for two minor incidents, at 
Takhatpur in Bilaspur district and Jabalpur. At 
Takhatpur Shri Ottalwar, Advocate, who was the 
only spokesman addressing the Committee on 
behalf of a large concourse of rural people, made 
some critical remarks of a political nature on the 
admission made by Rev. Maqbul Musih that he 
had received Rs. 38,000 from America for the 
Abundant Life Movement carried on by him in the 
rural areas with a view to stave off the danger of 
Communism. No protest was made by Rev. 
Masih, but only by the representative of the 
Catholic Association, Mr. Francis. At Jabalpur, an 
Arya Samajist referred to some passages in the 
Bible which he thought inculcated immorality, 
while he was speaking about religious education. 
As the Christians present resented the reference 



the Committee asked the speaker to drop it and 
he obeyed. 

6. In all the places visited by the Committee there 
was unanimity as regards the excellent service 
rendered by the Missionaries, in the fields of 
education and medical relief. But on the other 
hand there was a general complaint from the non- 
Christian side that the schools and hospitals were 
being used as means of securing converts. There 
was no disparagement of Christianity or of Jesus 
Christ, and no objection to the preaching of 
Christianity and even to conversions to 
Christianity. The objection was to the illegitimate 
methods alleged to be adopted by the 
Missionaries for this purpose, such as offering 
allurement’s of free education and other facilities 
to children attending their schools, adding some 
Christian names to their original Indian names, 
marriages with Christian girls, money-lending, 
Distributing Christian literature in hospitals and 
offering prayers in the wages of in-door patients. 
Reference was also made to the practice of the 
Roman Catholic priests or preachers visiting new¬ 
born babies to give ‘ashish’ (blessings) in the 
name of Jesus, taking sides in litigation or 
domestic quarrels, kidnapping of minor children 
and abduction of women and recruitment of 
labour for plantations in Assam or Andaman as a 
means of propagating the Christian faith among 
the ignorant and illiterate people. There was a. 
general tendency to suspect some ulterior political 
or extra-religious motive, in the influx of foreign 
money for evangelistic work in its varied forms. 
The concentration of Missionary enterprise on the 
hill tribes in remote and inaccessible parts of the 
forest areas and their mass conversion with the 
aid of foreign money were interpreted as intended 
to prepare the ground for a separate’ independent 
State on the lines of Pakistan. In the Raigarh and 
Surguja districts, the Christians complained 
against the petty Government officials, but there 
were practically none in other districts including 
Berar. At the meetings held in Surguja, Raigarh 
and Bilaspur districts there were present 
prominent Christian representatives, like Rev. 
Lakra of Ranchi, Rev. Kujur (Lutheran Mission), 



Rev. Gurbachansingh (American Evengelical 
Mission), Rev. Masih (Disciples of Christ), Shri 
Minz (General Secretary the Catholic Sabha). 

Shri Minz complained against the sinister 
activities of Boko Sardar, of Shri Deshpande. 
Advocate, of Baijnath Mishra and of the Tribal 
Welfare Department. Shri Jagdish Tirkey, 
Secretary of the Adiwasi Jharkhand Party, 
claimed that Jharkhand was necessary to 
preserve the unity of the Uraons. He and Rev. 
Kujur repudiated the imputation against the 
Missionaries that they instigated the movement 
for an independent State. There was no specific 
complaints against officials or non-Christians 
besides the above. But there was a general 
complaint above the non-recognition of Mission 
schools. Rev. Nath of Khandwa complimented the 
Missionaries for elevating the Ballahis from their 
down-trodden condition in the Hindu society. In 
the Betul district meeting, Rev. E. Raman and 
many American Missionaries had no complaints 
to make against the Government officers or 
members of the public. 

7. On the basis of the allegations made orally and 
in writing a large number of people including 
Christians, supplemented by information derived 
from official sources and published literature 
bearing on the subject-matter of the enquiry it was 
thought necessary to make a thorough and 
searching probe into the problem. Accordingly, an 
elaborate questionnaire came to be issued so as 
to afford full opportunity to the parties concerned 
to assist the Committee in every way possible. 

8. It may be noted that the Committee was not 
appointed under any enactment such as the 
Commission of Enquiry Act IX of 1952 but only 
under the inherent powers of the grate 
Government. The Committee consequently 
functioned on a purely voluntary basis. It had 
neither the power to compel any one to attend 
before it, nor to make any statement, oral or 
written, nor to administer an oath. The 
Committee thus had no coercive power in any 
shape or form. No one was bound to answer all 
or any question contained in the Questionnaire or 



to answer it in a prescribed manner. The enquiry 
was riot judicial, in the sense that it was 
calculated to have an operative effect. As the 
Committee interpreted the Terms of Reference, it 
appeared to it that the object of the enquiry was 
to ascertain the facts from the people directly at 
first-hand, unlike a judicial enquiry which 
proceeds on the material brought before it by an 
investigating authority. The attitude of the 
Government, as well as that of the party in power, 
was perfectly neutral. 

9. The scope of the enquiry was considerably 
enlarged by reason of the broad Terms of 
Reference relating to “Political and extra-religious 
objectives.” and “a thorough review of the 
question from the historical and other points of 
view”. At first sight the subject of the enquiry 
presented itself as a purely local one but that 
turned out to be more apparent than real. The 
material gathered in the initial stages of the 
enquiry revealed to the Committee that its 
significance far transcended the bounds of any 
one country or region in the world and that it was 
calculated to have world- wide repercussions. 

That compelled the Committee to view the subject 
as an integral part of a larger picture on the broad 
canvas of world history. The Committee had to 
consult a number of published books, pamphlets 
and periodicals for deter- mining the nature and 
form of their recommendations. 

10. On the true construction of the Terms of 
Reference the Committee found that the subject 
in hand should be divided under specified beads, 
viz., Conversions, Social Relations. Hospitals and 
Schools with a separate head for Remedies. The 
questions set out under each of these heads are 
indeed exploratory and searching, but in no way 
unconnected with the issues involved in the 
enquiry. 

11. The response to the Questionnaire was 
encouraging, indicating as it did, the co-operation 
of the public as well as of the Protestant 
Missionary Bodies operating in the various 
districts of the State. 385 replies to the 



questionnaire were received in the office of the 
Committee out of which 55 were from Christian 
individuals or organisations and 330 from non- 
Christians. The authorities and members of the 
Roman Catholic Church co-operated with the 
Committee in their exploratory tours in Raigarh, 
Surguja, Bilaspur, Raipur and Nimar districts. Shri 
G. X. Francis, President of the Catholic Regional 
Council, and Shri P. Lobo, Advocate, High Court, 
Nagpur, associated themselves with the 
Committee. But subsequently the Catholic 
Church withdrew its co-operation, not only ling a 
statement of protest, but also moving the High 
Court for a Mandamus Petition (Miscellaneous 
Petition No. 263.of 1955). 

Their Lordships dismissed the petition on 12th 
April, 1956, holding that it was within the 
competence of the State Government to appoint a 
fact-finding Committee to collect information and 
that there had been no-infringement of any of the 
fundamental rights of the petitioner. The 
Committee have gone through the Lengthy 
judgment of the Hon’ble High Court very carefully 
and have given respectful consideration to the 
views expressed therein. We may however like to 
state that some of the remarks concerning a few 
questions in our Questionnaire proceed from an 
apparent lack of full knowledge of the nature of 
the allegations made before us which formed the 
basis of those questions. We had repeatedly 
informed the petitioner and the public that none of 
the questions represented either the views of the 
Committee or any individual member thereof and 
our anxiety to have information on various points 
was due to our desire to find out to what extent, if 
any, could any activity be considered to infringe 
the limits of public order, morality aria health 
imposed by the Constitution. As will be clear from 
the body of this report, we have confined 
ourselves entirely to the spirit and letter of our 
Constitution. 


CHAPTER II. - CIRCUMSTANCES LEADING TO 
THE APPOINTMENT OF THE COMMITTEE 



In another part we pro se to give the history of 
Christian Missions in old Madhya Pradesh and 
also in the Merged States. In this Chapter it is 
intended to detail the circumstances which led the 
Government to appoint this Fact-finding 
Committee. Our source of information has been 
the various files made available to us by 
Government. As the immediate cause which 
ultimately led to our appointment was the 
activities of some Mission organizations in the 
recently Merged States of Raigarh, Udaipur, 
Jashpur and Surguja, it will be useful to describe 
the principal or toot causes of whatever trouble 
was reported in the integrated States soon after 
their merger on 1st January, 1948. Even in the 
old Madhya Pradesh the Government, was not 
unfamiliar with the problem of Missionary 
activities amongst aboriginals, because many of 
our districts contained a large number of Adiwasi 
population and Government had been carrying 
out, welfare measures for them for a good length 
of time. It is reported that about 18 per cent of 
the total population of Madhya Pradesh prior to 
Integration consisted of aboriginals and that the 
Integration of the States added nearly 28 lakhs to 
the population of Madhya Pradesh, out of whom 
about 53 per cent were aboriginals. According to 
official reports the integration of Chhattisgarh 
States was carried out smoothly and was hailed 
with joy by all sections of the community including 
the aboriginals. When the then Premier toured 
the Integrated States, attempts were made by 
Christian and other Uraons of Jashpur State to 
create-some trouble, but it never presented a 
formidable problem. 

2. The chief cause of unrest could be located 
against the following background 

(a) Oppression and misgovernment which existed 
prior to Integration: In other parts of this Report a 
detailed reference to the various forms of 
oppression practised on the Adiwasis by the 
Malguzars, the Zamindars and the ex-Rulers will 
be found. 


(b) The expectations of the people of the 



Integrated States of immediate improvement in 
their moral and material conditions as a result of 
Integration were pitched so high that almost 
inevitably they were bound to be disappointed to 
some extent. Improvement of conditions in a 
specially backward area has necessarily to be a 
gradual process, which was not recognized. 

(c) Almost from the very beginning interested 
parties, including Christian Missionaries, began to 
intermeddle and create dissatisfaction by 
exploiting the situation. These interested parties 
were firstly the Rajas and their supporters and 
hirelings and also politicians of the neighbouring 
States, who wished to secure integration of some 
of the former States in their area despite history, 
geography and economy. An end was put to the 
activities of such persons by the decision of the 
Union Ministry of States in May 1948, but 
according to Government reports the activities of 
Missionaries continued further though 
surreptitiously. 

(d) The reports which the Government of Madhya 
Pradesh had obtained from the former States in 
respect of the activities of Missionaries show that 
their role in the past had not been healthy, their 
methods not savoury. Two or three times there 
were rebellions in the States and even the 
Political Department, which was in the hands of 
the European Christians, was compelled to put 
restrictions on the entry of Missionaries and their 
movement in the former States. Details of the 
Acts passed by the former States of Surguja, 
Udaipur and Raigarh regulating conversion and 
restricting the movement, etc., of Missionaries will 
be found elsewhere in this Report. On the 
integration of the States, Missionaries became 
afraid of losing their influence. So they started an 
agitation, playing on the religious feelings of the 
primitive Christian converts, representing the 
Madhya Pradesh Government as consisting of 
infidels and so on. Some of the articles published 
in Missionary papers, such as ‘Nishkalank’ 
‘Adiwasi’ and ‘Jharkhand’ were hardly 
distinguishable from the writings in Muslim papers 
advocating Pakistan, before, before the 15th of 



August 1947. The Missionaries launched a 
special attack on the opening of schools by 
Madhya Pradesh Government under the 
Backward Area Welfare Scheme. The then 
Commissioner of Chhattisgarh Division, contacted 
the Father Superior of the Roman Catholics at 
Jashpurnagar in February 1948 and explained to 
him the secular nature the Indian Union and the 
freedom of religion and worship which every 
citizen enjoyed in it. Fie pointed out that there 
was no hindrance to Missionaries carrying on 
their religious activity in a lawful manner, but if the 
leaders of the Missions mixed up religion with 
politics and appealed to the religions fanaticism of 
the easily gullible Adiwasis they could not 
naturally claim the sanctity and consideration 
which attaches to religious organisations. Fie 
further explained that having once suffered 
grievously from the communalistic policies of 
some persons, India could not afford to have 
another such movement in its very heart. The 
Catholic Father Superior gave the Commissioner 
an undertaking that the Mission would confine 
itself only to religion and not dabble in politics at 
all. The following letter written by Father 
Vermiere of the Jashpur Roman Catholic Mission 
may be quoted in extenso, to show the attitude of 
the Missionaries including foreigners, at the time 
of the Integration of the States 

“We need help very much as we 
are so deep in debt and have to 
face worse times with a new 
Government so much against the 
Christians. 

“Rev. Father Rector has probably 
acquainted you with what I wrote 
some time ago. Things have riot 
much improved, although aye are 
rather on good terms with the local 
authorities. Even so it is no more is 
before. As more than one of the 
new or old officials points out, the 
men sent this side are too inferior, 
and cannot compare with, for 
instance, the late Dean. Next those 



employed do riot seem to have half 
the powers necessary. Things 
have continually to be referred 
higher tip, (which means most of 
the time no answer to the letters) 
and petitions, are delayed for five or 
six months. What I say is the 
common complaint all over Jashpur 
from officials no less thin from the 
common people. Moreover it 
seems to be a common complaint 
all over the Province, that this is the 
way. 

“We should, e.g., settle about the 
transition from Patna syllabus to 
that of Nagpur. But the new 
Inspectors have still to come. They 
are always coming, but never 
arrive. The best and probably the 
most sympathetic, to whom I wrote 
a personal letter, and is practically 
for us the head, would come in 
April, they in May; lately he 
informed me that he would come 
this month. July is over and there is 
no trace of him. They have been 
wasting the month of May and part 
of June on Adult Education, good in 
itself but much of a farce as it was 
conducted. Hindu propaganda with 
open attempts to draw the 
Christians into the Hindu fold, 
occupied a large part of the 
programme. In the end the 
Christians refused to go, on 
account of that propaganda and the 
Education came to an end. 
Meanwhile the Inspectors have no 
time for any other work than that. 

“The Bishop wishes me to discuss 
with them the question of our 
attempted High School at 
Ginabahar, but cannot do this with 
such fellows who come as 
makeshifts, till they can get away. 



“You may have read lately in the 
Herald some-very spirited answers 
purported to come from Jashpur 
Christian students, against the vile 
slander by one who came with a 
large retinue to spy our Institutions 
at Gholeng and Ginabahar. He 
dares call himself a member of the 
much esteemed Servants of India 
Society. He and his colleague have 
nearly wrecked the nascent Mission 
of the Norbertine Fathers in 
Mandla, District Jubbulpore. They 
were sent here by the Prime 
Minister, but if they hope to ruin this 
Mission, they are very much 
mistaken. Our Catholics are too 
advanced to he taken in. or 
frightened by such slanderers. 
Protest meetings against their vile 
report continue to be held, chiefly to 
wreck their treacherous 
machinations. As one of the two, is 
a sort of Minister for the uplift of the 
backward people, he has a 
considerable Government budget to 
dispose of. Their aim is more to 
prevent us front converting, than to 
care for the uplift of those they used 
to keep them in bondage. Just now 
they are starting 40 new schools for 
these backward Adibasis. The third 
I hear of, is in a village where we 
possess a school since 30 years. 
But knowing that many pagan 
children come to our schools and 
that we had sent a petition for a 
building to enlarge that school, they 
surreptitiously try and draw aw the 
pagan children from us. But we are 
ready for them. Today my men are 
gone there to attend a big 
panchayat to draw tip a protest, and 
get all the pagans to refuse 
withdrawing their children from us. I 
am giving you all this for the sake of 



those in the community interested 
in Jashpur affairs.” 

In a subsequent visit to the then Premier at 
Nagpur, Father Vermiere was confronted with this 
letter and lie then gave an undertaking in writing 
that he would have no objection to schools being 
established by Government in the States. 

3. Let us turn our attention to the activities of the 
Missionaries in the Merged States of Surguja and 
Udaipur during the months following their 
Integration. It has already been mentioned that 
the former Rulers of these States had consistently 
stopped the infiltration of Missionaries in their 
territories and with the full knowledge and consent 
of the then Political Department Anti conversion 
Acts were passed. In spite of these Acts 
individual Missionaries, specially Rev. Stanislus 
Tigga, a Roman Catholic Priest with his 
headquarters in Ranchi, kept on visiting these 
areas surreptitiously and carried on propaganda 
in the garb of religion. The strip of land 
comprising Surguja, Korea, Jashpur, Udaipur, 
Changbhakar and some other small. States of 
Orissa is surrounded by Bihar and Orissa States 
and is inhabited by a very large percentage of 
aboriginals. The tract is full of forests and mineral 
resources. Foreign Missionaries from Belgium 
and Germany had established themselves in 
Bihar and Orissa and also in Jashpur in 1834 and 
had succeeded in converting a very large number 
of people to Christianity. In order to consolidate 
and enhance their prestige, and possibly to afford 
scope for alien interests in this tract, the 
Missionaries were reported to be carrying on 
propaganda for the isolation of the Aboriginals 
from other sections of the community and the 
movement of Jharkhand was thus started. This 
movement was approved by the Aboriginals, local 
Christians and Muslims and the Missionaries 
sought to keep it under their influence by 
excluding all the nationalists elements from this 
movement. The demand for Adiwasisthan was 
accentuated along with the one for Pakistan in 
1938. The Muslim League is reported to have 
donated Rs. one lakh for propaganda work. With 



the advent of political independence in India, the 
agitation for Adiwasisthan was intensified, with a 
view to forming a sort of corridor joining East 
Bengal with Hyderabad, which could be used for 
a pincer movement against India in the event of a 
war between India and Pakistan. The Christian 
community, supported by the Missionaries of the 
Ranchi district, organised themselves into a 
“Raiyat Warg”, ostensibly to do social work, but in 
reality to propagate the Adiwasi movement. To 
counteract the isolationist doctrine of this 
organization of Christians, the non-Christians 
formed a Praja Mandal. Although there was a 
tussle between these two organizations which 
continued till the integration of the States with 
Madhya Pradesh, they joined bands on learning 
that Surguja and Jashpur States were being 
merged with Madhya Pradesh and started a pro- 
Bihar agitation. At the prospect of the integration 
of the States with Madhya Pradesh Mr. Jaipal 
Singh, member of the Constituent Assembly and 
President of the All-India Adiwasi Association, 
who is also commonly described as the father of 
the Jharkhand movement, protested in November 
1947 against the merger of Surguja and Jashpur 
with Madhya Pradesh and accused the Bihar 
Government with failure to serve the people by 
not insisting on the integration of those States 
with Bihar. After having seen the then Premier of 
Bihar at Ranchi, Shri Jaipal Singh convened a 
conference of All-India Adiwasi Maha Sabha, on 
14th January of 1948. This pro-Bihar agitation, 
which was originally started at the instance of the 
Roman Catholic and Lutheran Missionaries of 
Ranchi in Bihar district, soon obtained the support 
of other Christians, non-Christians, aboriginals 
and members of the Bihar Congress party and it 
was also reported that the then Hon’ble Premier 
of Bihar and the Hon’ble Revenue Minister had 
sympathy with this cause. Accordingly a party 
consisting of some Bihar Congressmen, Rev. 
Lakra, the head of the Lutheran Mission and a 
Jamidar visited Surguja in the second week of 
January 1948 to mobilise public opinion in favour 
of the integration of those States with Bihar. Two 
members of this party, however, informed the 
District Superintendent of Police, Surguja, that 
they were not fully agreeable to the views of the 



remaining members and further brought to the 
District Superintendent of Police’s notice that 
there was a conspiracy between Pakistan and 
some American and German Missionaries to 
instigate the aboriginals to take possession of 
their own land, commonly known as Jharkhand. 

In Kharsaon and Sarikela States of Orissa there 
was violence necessitating the use of force to 
suppress it. At the All-India Adiwasis’ conference 
on 14th January, of 1948, called by Mr. Jaipal 
Singh, speeches after speeches were made 
narrating the disadvantages and worries 
associated with the merger of the States with 
Madhya Pradesh and the benefits accruing from 
their amalgamation with Bihar. Two Christians 
and a non-Christian were appointed 
propagandists to carry on pro-Bihar agitation. 

The Praja Mandal which consisted mostly of non- 
Christians and which was lacking in funds refused 
to support the pro-Bihar propaganda and in a 
meeting held at Bargaon (Jashpur) on 20th 
January, 1948 it was unanimously resolved to 
agree to the integration of Surguja and Jashpur 
with Madhya Pradesh. 

4. The activities of the Missionaries in the Jashpur 
area from January 1948 to the, end of May when 
the Union Ministry of States decided finally the 
question of merger of Surguja and Jashpur with 
Madhya Pradesh may be narrated. According to 
official reports these activities, though ostensibly 
carried on by Indian Christians, were in fact 
sponsored by Missionaries to secure a-strong 
foothold in the hitherto forbidden territories of 
Udaipur and Surguja. 

January 1948. -The agitation for the inclusion of 
Jashpur, Udaipur, Surguja and Changbhakar 
States in the Bihar Province was continued and 
prominent persons of Ranchi visited Jashpur. 

Rev. J. Lakra, the head of German Lutheran 
Mission, carried on propaganda for a separate 
Jharkhand Province, which would be 
administered by Christians, who predominated in 
the area concerned. Three meetings of 
Christians were held in the Jashpur State for the 
purpose of carrying on this propaganda. 



February 1948.- Three more meetings were held 
in Jashpur sub-division in connection with the 
Christian agitation in favour of amalgamation with 
Bihar. Speakers pointed out that inclusion in the 
Central Provinces would mean economic and 
social retardation and the evaporation of their 
dream of Jharkhand. At a meeting at Ichkelah 
(Jashpur) on 13th February it was announced that 
an Adiwasi fund for defending the interests of 
Adiwasis had been started. Rev. J. Lakra was 
suspected of dissuading Christians from 
participating in Mahatma Gandhi’s Ashes 
Immersion Ceremony observed at Jashpur on 
12th February. Julias Tigga, Secretary Adiwasi 
Sabha, Ranchi, visited Jashpur and Ambikapur 
about the 14th of February and was warned by 
the District Magistrate, Surguja, for indulging in 
objectionable activities. On 21st February 1948, 
Bowfus Lakra, a parliamentary Secretary of Bihar 
and Joseph Tigga, Pleader of Ranchi, addressed 
a small meeting at the prominent Roman Catholic 
Mission Centre of Ginabahar in which, although 
opposition to the formation of Jharkhand was 
voiced, it was stated that people should be 
allowed to decide whether they should be 
associated with Madhya Pradesh or Bihar. These 
intense political activities of the Christians under 
the leadership of foreign Missionaries created a 
sense of apprehension and consequently the non- 
Christian organization called the Praja Mandal 
mobilized their resources to counteract this 
movement. A few meetings were called and 
addressed by this party on or about the 23rd of 
February. Rev. J. Lakra called a session of the 
All-India Adiwasi Maha Sabha at Ranchi on the 
26th of February and delegates from Orissa, 
Chhattisgarh States and Bihar attended it. Mr. 
Jaipal Singh, who was elected President of the 
Maha Sabha criticized the Bihar Government for 
splitting the tribal people and emphasised that the 
salvation of the Adiwasis lay in the creation of a 
separate province including the States of 
Chhattisgarh. He proposed to raise and send 
1,000 volunteers for propaganda purposes. 


March 1948. -A meeting was organised by the 



Lutheran Christians at Bargaon in Jashpur to 
further the propaganda of merger with Bihar. 
There was propaganda on the border villages of 
Surguja district by Christian Missionaries of 
Palamau and Ranchi. 

5. It was during this time that the then Premier of 
Madhya Pradesh undertook a tour of those areas 
and it was reported that a good deal of 
misapprehension regarding Government’s policy, 
etc., was removed and that open and extensive 
activities of the Missionaries through Indian 
Christian Fathers and Preachers were subdued, 
and Police officials reported that thenceforth the 
agitation was carried on in a surreptitious, 
manners In October 1948 a Gaonthia of Surguja 
was detained under the Public Safety Act for 
objectionable Activities and a search of his house 
revealed him in possession of letters which 
showed that he was an active worker of the 
Jharkhand movement, on behalf of the 
Missionaries and that the agitation was still being 
carried on for the creation of a separate Adiwasi 
Province. The Gaonthia was ultimately released 
on his giving a written undertaking that he would 
not take part in any subversive activities. 

6. In the neighbouring State of Udaipur activities 
were mostly confined to Rev. S. Tigga. The laws 
which were in force in the former Merged States 
were continued on integration and consequently 
the Anti-conversion Act had also been continued. 
The Anti-conversion Act of Udaipur had been 
promulgated on 9th July 1946-nearly an year and 
a half after the, Ruler of the State was installed in 
December 1944. But to put a check on the unfair 
activities of the Roman Catholic Priests the then 
Political Agent had passed an order on 28th 
February 1941 [D.O. No. G-59-CR/37 (III)] 
permitting the entry of Roman Catholic Priests 
only on the following conditions:- 

(1) Priests could be allowed to enter 
the State when called to the bed¬ 
side of a dying or dangerously ill 
person. The Priest concerned must 
in such cases personally give 



information of his visits at the Police 
Station nearest to the route by 
which he travelled. 

(2) Priests may be permitted to 
enter the State once every quarter 
to celebrate Mass at some village 
near the border. Previous 
permission for this should be 
obtained from the Superintendent of 
the State on each occasion. The 
Priests should not tour in the State 
but their parishioners should come 
to them at the place which was 
selected for the celebration of 
Mass. 

(3) A Priest should not stay more 
than 48 hours in the State on any 
occasion unless unavoidably 
delayed by circumstances over 
which he has no control, provided 
firstly that in such a case he 
informed in writing the Officer-in- 
charge of a Police Station nearest 
to his route when leaving the State, 
giving particulars of the obstacle 
which caused the delay and 
secondly that no visit was extended 
to more than 96 hours without 
previous sanction of the 
Superintendent of the State. 

Priests should not do any religious 
propaganda or proselytization while 
in the State. 

(4) Only Ordained Priests and not 
lay Preachers from outside should 
be allowed to enter the State. 

7. After Integration Rev. S. Tigga, a Roman 
Catholic Missionary thwarted these restrictions 
add visited the State several times up to the 
month of May 1948. He was warned against 
doing so by the Sub-Divisional Officer, but he did 
not pay any attention to it. Ultimately the Sub- 



Divisional Officer ordered his prosecution under 
section 188, Indian Penal Code for disobeying 
those restrictions and Rev. Tigga was sentenced 
to pay a fine of Rs. 20. Although he was in 
possession of the requisite amount he refused to 
pay the fine and had to be imprisoned for four 
days in consequence to suffer imprisonment 
which had been ordered in default of the payment 
of the fine. This sudden “invasion” of areas in 
Udaipur State by Roman Catholic Missionaries 
created a sharp reaction in the mind of the local 
people and they represented to the Government 
as well as the district authorities against 
encouraging the Missionaries to establish their 
centres in the Udaipur State and thereby to 
prevent mass conversions of Uraons. 

Government apprehended an imminent danger of 
breach of the peace and disturbance of public 
tranquility and it also felt that Communist bodies 
functioning in areas outside Madhya Pradesh on 
the immediate borders of Surguja, Udaipur and 
Jashpur States might take advantage of the 
situation and create trouble, similar to the one 
which was then raging in the neighbouring States. 
Accordingly an order, under section 144, Criminal 
Procedure Code was passed restricting the entry 
of Christian Missionaries in the Udaipur Sub- 
Division except for purposes of religious work. 

The order was on the lines of the restrictions 
mentioned in paragraph 6 above and remained in 
force for nearly a year from 27th January 1949. It 
is reported that about 20 to 25 persons were 
arrested for defiance of this-order. Throughout 
the year 1949 the Roman Catholic Bishop of 
Ranchi and some Roman Catholic leaders of 
Nagpur made repeated efforts to seek the 
permission of the State Government to establish 
centres in the Udaipur Sub-Division. The 
restrictions which were imposed in the former 
State Regime were still in force and Government 
had information with them to show that Christian 
Missionaries in the Udaipur State were indulging 
in political activities of an objectionable kind, 
really reminiscent of the two nation theory which 
had awful consequences in the history of India. 
Considering that such dangerous activities could 
not be tolerated by any responsible Government, 
they were not prepared to remove the restrictions, 



altogether. In view of the political bias with which 
Christian Missionaries had carried on proselytism 
during the last half a century in the merged 
territories and in view of their active support of the 
dangerous Jharkhand movement. Government 
considered it necessary to put down the activities 
which led to fissiparous tendencies. In a 
conference held by the Hon’ble the Premier on 
29th March, 1949 with three Roman Catholic 
leaders (Major Bernard, M.L.A., Shri G. X. Francis 
and Major A. F. W da Costa) the policy of the 
State Government was fully and carefully 
explained and it was pointed out that India being 
a secular State, there was perfect freedom of 
thought and religion, but difficulties cropped up 
only when religious organisations mixed this up 
with politics. At this conference it was pointed out 
by the Government spokesman that several non- 
Christians had represented to Government about 
the activities of the Missionaries in the Integrated 
States, in particular about religious instruction 
being imparted in their schools. This had become 
necessary because ever since the opening of 
schools by the Tribal Welfare Department, Roman 
Catholic Missionaries had carried on persistent 
propaganda against such schools and had 
represented this to the State Government also. 
Although Father Vermeire had intimated that he 
had no objection to Government starting schools 
in Jashpur side by side with the Mission schools, 
the Roman Catholic Bishop of Ranchi kept on 
representing that this should not be done. It was, 
therefore, pointed out at the conference that the 
duty of Government being to provide non¬ 
sectarian educational instruction for the people, 
no legitimate objection could be taken against it. 
On the question of restrictions imposed on the 
entry of-Christian Priests in Udaipur State, the 
official point of view was pointed out and it was 
explained how the situation had developed on 
account of the mingling of religion with politics. 
The leaders present were told that the policy of 
Government towards matters of religion was one 
of allowing complete freedom of conscience and 
worship to all and there was not the slightest 
intention to have a different policy in Udaipur or 
other States. The gentlemen present were 



requested to remove any misconception from the 
minds of the people and to tell them that 
Government would not interfere in their peaceful 
religious pursuit so long as they did not mix up 
politics with religion. Major da Costa on behalf of 
the Catholics assured Government of the loyalty 
of Catholics and informed that Catholics had no 
connection whatsoever with the Jharkhand 
movement. The three leaders present assured 
the Premier of their unflinching loyalty to 
Government and of their determination to co¬ 
operate and help Government in every possible 
manner and they requested that the question of 
allowing reliable Christian Priests to reside in 
Udaipur might be favourably considered by 
Government after making due enquiries about 
their bonafides and Government promised to 
examine the suggestion. Shri Francis informed 
the Premier that he would take an early 
opportunity of visiting Udaipur and Jashpur to tell 
the people of the policy of Government and to 
remove all misconceptions. In accordance with 
this promise Shri Francis undertook a tour of the 
newly integrated States of Udaipur and Jashpur 
between 20th and 25th April, 1949. It appears 
that the representations made by Shri Francis and 
other Roman Catholic leaders of Nagpur to the 
Government of Madhya Pradesh were at the 
instance of the Roman Catholic Mission working 
in the Jashpur area. After the conference of 
these leaders with the Premier on 29th March, 
1949 details were apparently reported to the then 
Roman Catholic Bishop of Ranchi, who on 18th 
April, 1949 came to Nagpur and gave a written 
pledge on his behalf as well as on behalf of his 
Priests, undertaking to give all due obedience and 
respect to the lawfully constituted Government of 
India, and the lawfully constituted Government of 
Madhya Pradesh and also stated that while 
carefully abstaining from participating in political 
affairs it was his desire and purpose that his 
influence in so far as may be possible in such 
matters shall be so exerted in loyal co-operation- 
with Government. In view of this undertaking Rt. 
Rev. O’Sevrin, Bishop of Ranchi, requested 
Government to allow without further delay his 
Priests to reside in Udaipur without whose 
presence the Catholics were effectively prevented 



from practising their religion in a normal way. As 
regards the apprehension that the Priests might 
meddle in politics the Bishop assured the 
Government that as far as his Priests were 
concerned they would not do so and that they had 
not done so in the past. He stated that although 
soon after Integration he was approached more 
than once by Bihar Congressmen and other 
supporters of the Jharkhand movement to lend 
his support to the movement towards 
amalgamation with Bihar he had refused to co¬ 
operate. On account of this he had incurred the 
hostility, not only of the Lutherans in Jashpur, but 
of Catholics in Ranchi. In this letter the Bishop 
stated, “If we, Catholic Priests, had chosen to 
urge them on in the direction of joining the 
Jharkhand movement the situation in Jashpur and 
Udaipur would have been much worse than it is 
now, considering at very close to one-fourth of the 
population of Jashpur is Catholic”. This is a 
significant admission of the control exercised by 
Roman Catholic Priests in matters outside religion 
and of the existence of a state of political agitation 
in the newly merged States of Jashpur, Udaipur 
and Surguja, soon after Integration. Along with 
his request to allow Catholic Priests to reside in 
Udaipur State, the Bishop levelled charges 
against petty local officials and also non-officials. 

It was also stated that patent discrimination which 
was officially adopted by the Central Provinces 
Government against Christian aboriginals in 
denying them scholarships and other concessions 
was much resented by the Catholics. The 
following are some of the reported grievances of 
Catholics in Jashpur voiced by the Bishop of 
Ranchi:- 


(1) There have been several cases 
of Catholic candidates for 
Government posts being asked as 
a condition for employment to give 
Christianity and become Hindus. 
Although the letter admitted that 
this allegation was made on what is 
“being whispered about”, the 
Government was asked to remedy 
the situation. 



(2) The Catholics are not enrolled 
as Home Guards and are not given 
other posts. 

(3) Many Catholics at the request of 
Congress leaders at Raigarh had 
collected a fair sum of money for 
Gandhi Memorial Fund. They were 
severely rebuked by some officials. 

(4) The attitude of some leaders of 
the Backward Area Welfare Sabha 
was against the Roman Catholics. 

(5) The whole policy of the Adiwasi 
Sudhar Sabha was one of sheer 
waste of money and conducive to 
breach of peace. 

(6) Government schools should not 
be opened where Roman Catholic 
schools already exist. 

8. In his report of the tour undertaken in April, 

1949 Shri G. X. Francis voiced almost the same 
grievances which had already been put forward 
by the Bishop of Ranchi in his communication 
dated 18th April, 1949. 

9. Enquiries were ordered by Government into the 
allegations made by the Bishop of Ranchi and 
Shri Francis and it was reported by the authorities 
that in spite of the denial by the Bishop of the part 
played by the Jashpur Roman Catholics in the 
Jharkhand political movement definite evidence 
existed to prove that the Roman Catholic Mission 
authorities at Ranchi had made common cause 
with other elements and were taking active part in 
this movement. The vehement opposition of the 
Roman Catholic Bishop to the Backward Areas 
Welfare Scheme was explained by the blow given 
to the proselytising activities of the Roman 
Catholics through their schools by the Backward 
Areas Welfare Scheme. Government however 
could not take an immediate decision to permit 



the Priests to reside in Udaipur because of the 
strong feelings of a considerable section of the 
people there against such action and therefore it 
was considered desirable to await the 
Constitution which was then being drafted by the 
Constituent Assembly. 

10. The efforts of the Christian Association of 
which Shri G. X. Francis is the Chairman and of 
the Bishop of Ranchi to secure cancellation of the 
orders in respect of the residence of the Priests in 
Udaipur State continued unabated till the 
promulgation of the Constitution in January, 

1950. Besides, written individual representations 
of Shri Francis and other Catholic leaders, the 
demand was raised in some of the All-India 
conferences of this body. On the other hand, non- 
Christian bodies kept on representing to 
Government against relaxing the ban. 

11. The promulgation of the Constitution was 
soon followed by the entry into Surguja and 
Udaipur of the Belgian Jesuits, the Lutherans and 
some other Missions, who had hitherto worked 
from the Ranchi district. Strong action was taken 
by these Mission authorities to spread Christianity 
amongst Uraons. Plaving firmly and perpetually 
installed themselves in the State of Jashpur 
against the will of the then Rulers and owing to 
official pressure brought upon the Rulers by the 
foreign administration, it was used as a base of 
operation for further expansion into Udaipur and 
Surguja territories. The Priests had either 
commenced their operations by sending 
Christians into the country who concealed the fact 
that they were Christians and took service as field 
labourers or lived with relations. When in course 
of time a sufficient number of such people had 
taken up their residence in the area the 
Preachers went into the country and appointed 
assistants from amongst the Christians who had 
gone to live there and a mass movement of 
conversion to Christianity ensued. Reports 
started pouring in upon the Government that 
these Pracharaks and other paid servants were 
mere pawns in the hands of the Priests, they 
acted as Vakils for the people in all matters and 



interfered continually in all temporal affairs. The 
Catholic, Lutheran and Swedish Churches soon 
established centres all along the Surguja-Bihar 
border. In 1950, branches were opened at 
Ambikapur and Sitapur in the Surguja district. 

The authorities reported to Government that the 
method adopted by Christian Missionaries was as 
follows:- 

After preliminary investigation by a 
responsible (usually foreign) 
member of a Mission they would 
establish themselves in a small 
village and try to gain the 
confidence of the village people. 

They would gradually start advising 
the village folk in their local 
problems and very often make out 
applications and complaints to be 
presented to the authorities. They 
would personally follow the matter 
in courts and thus gain the 
confidence of the party. Selected 
Uraon boys would be sent out with 
the help of scholarships to the 
Missionary headquarters in Jashpur 
or Bihar for training in handicrafts or 
for higher education. Meanwhile 
earlier converts from Bihar would 
be brought down to the Centres to 
move amongst the village folk to 
propagate the benefits of 
conversion. Local intelligent 
villagers (in many cases Muslims) 
would then be selected and 
appointed as Pracharaks on a pay 
of about Rs. 50 per month. These 
paid Pracharaks would move in the 
country-side doing propaganda, 
paving the way for the Missionaries 
to tackle responsible individuals in 
near about villages. Meanwhile 
recent converts at the Centre would 
receive social attention, new 
clothes, personal advice on 
agriculture, free chemical manures 
and attention at home to make the 



houses look distinct from others in 
the village. They would open 
schools wherein only prospective 
converts would be admitted. Free 
medicine would he distributed on 
bazar days, prospective converts 
being treated free while others were 
charged. They would make 
arrangements to distribute paddy 
and other seeds free to certain 
selected families. In some cases 
cash grants were also reported to 
have been given. Loans were 
advanced and the borrower was 
told directly or indirectly that if he 
became a convert he need not 
repay the money. Thus, by the 
system of preferential treatment 
and with temporary physical 
benefits displayed before them an 
atmosphere in favour of conversion 
was being created. In some cases 
reports of coercive methods being 
used were also received. 

12. As Missionary activities spread in Surguja 
district local non-Christians got alarmed. In 1952, 
leading citizens of the district, including the 
Maharaja of Surguja distributed pamphlets and 
addressed gatherings advising the Adivasis not to 
give up their religion for the sake of monetary 
benefits or temptations. Members of the 
Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh and the Arya 
Samaj joined hands and intensified propaganda 
against Missionary activities. The services of a 
large number of enthusiastic workers could be 
secured by them and reconversions took place in 
some numbers. A conference of Virat Hindu 
Rashtriya Sammelan was convened at Ambikapur 
where all non-Christian organisations were asked 
to present a united front against the Christians 
and the Jharkhand movement. Thus, acute 
tension prevailed in the area and the authorities 
thought that the situation may result in serious 
trouble unless handled properly. 

13. This tension was attributed chiefly to the 



objectionable methods followed by Missionaries, 
some of which may be narrated. On 5th May, 
1951 at about 8 p.m. in village Chando, Rev. K. 

C. Burdett, a foreign Missionary took out a 
procession with about 25 followers in a truck and 
moved into some villages, singing provocative 
songs denouncing the Hindu religion. The matter 
was reported to the police and an offence was 
registered. As Shri Burdett offered an 
unconditional written apology the case was not 
prosecuted. In village Salba, Police Station 
Baikunthpur, 16 Christian Preachers entered the 
house of one Charan Uraon on 7th November, 
1952, threw away his utensils and threatened him 
with violence, because he had opposed 
conversion. These persons were prosecuted and 
each of them was convicted. On another 
occasion in the same village, recently-appointed 
Christian Pracharaks, as alleged, used threats 
and intimidation against local Uraons for which 
they were prosecuted under section 506, Indian 
Penal Code. Reports of the use of violence and 
threats by a group of recently-appointed 
Pracharaks were received from other villages in 
the area and offences were registered. Rev. J. C. 
Christy, head of a Mission with headquarters in 
Palamau district who was organising centres in 
the Surguja district adjoining Palamau district, 
was also reported to have indulged in smuggling 
rice to Bihar in contravention of Government 
orders and to have assaulted public servants who 
tried to check the smuggling activities. Cases 
were registered against him and he was 
prosecuted. In both these cases he has recently 
been convicted. Another case of a village 
Headman was reported in which the Headman 
complained that when he had gone to village 
Amadoli near Madguri to make enquiries about 
new arrivals Lutia and other Christians of the 
village caught hold of the Headman and snatched 
his dress and beat him. A report was made to the 
police and investigation was started. The four 
Christians concerned were convicted in a court of 
law. In connection with this case Rev. F. Ekka of 
the Catholic Ashram made a false complaint 
against the Head Constable who had investigated 
the case. Ekka’s complaint was investigated by 
the Sub-Divisional Officer, Police, Ramanujganj, 



and was found to be entirely false, presumably 
made to gain favour of the Uraon converts and to 
discourage police officers from performing their 
duties. 

14. Besides these criminal offences registered 
and investigated numerous ordinary complaints 
made by villagers against the objectionable 
activities of Christian Missionaries were presented 
to the district authorities at Ambikapur. Some of 
them may be enumerated here:- 

Thirteen villagers of village Dhajji and Sukhari, 
Police Station Samri, complained against Patras 
Kerketta of the Roman Catholic Mission along 
with other Pracharaks who addressed a meeting 
in the village stating that the Congress Raj was 
bad because it was trouble to the Christian 
people; that Christians were getting a Raj in which 
people would get all facilities. They asked the 
villagers to refrain from paying Malguzari dues to 
Government, cut the Government forest, assault 
officers who would check them and also to beat 
the persons who refused to join hands with them. 
He asked them to unite together against 
Government and threatened that those who did 
not co-operate would be turned out of the villages 
when Christians cot Jhar-Khand. Complaints 
against Rev. Kerketta were made to the 
authorities at different times by the villagers of 
Mandwa, Nawadikalan, Karcha, Khujuridi, 
Shahapur and Kandri. It was brought to the 
notice of the local officials that Patras Kerketta 
had baptized two Uraon babies when their 
grandmother had taken them for getting medicine 
for some eye trouble. Apprehending a breach of 
the peace the Sub-Divisional Officer, 
Ramanujganj, held a spot enquiry. According to 
the wishes of the villagers the babies were 
reconverted to Hindu religion and Patras Kerketta 
tendered an apology to the Additional District 
Magistrate. 

15. Instances also came to the notice of the 
authorities to show that Missionaries deliberately 
put up false and frivolous complaints against 



Government servants, so that the activities of the 
Missionaries could be carried on without being 
brought to the notice of the higher authorities. 
Enquiries were made by superior officers on all 
complaints made by the Missionaries and 
invariably most of them were found to be 
baseless. A few instances may be mentioned : 

Rev. Kerketta reported to the Sub-Divisional 
Officer (Police), Ramanujganj, on 20th March, 
1950 against Head Constable, Devraj, of Police 
Station Samri, alleging that two recently 
converted Uraons had been beaten by the Head 
Constable and hand cuffed. The Sub-Divisional 
Officer (Police) enquired into the matter and found 
the allegation untrue. On 16th October, 1951, 
Rev. J. C. Christy made a complaint to the District 
Superintendent of Police. Surguja, against the 
Sub-Inspector of Police, Samri, that the latter had 
directed four Mission workers to leave villages 
Sarbana and Khajuri within two days. The District 
Superintendent of Police enquired into the matter 
and found that the only action taken by the Sub- 
Inspector was making enquiries about new 
arrivals in his area and eventually the District 
Superintendent of Police issued a warning to Shri 
Christy that he should refrain from bringing 
frivolous reports. On 6th November, 1932, Father 
L. Von Royee of Ambikapur complained against 
the Head Constable for having molested a 
Christian lady teacher. It was enquired into by the 
Circle Inspector and the allegation was found 
false. Father Tigga of the Roman Catholic 
Mission complained against the Station House 
Officer Sitapur, and his staff for organizing a raid 
on the Christian Ashram of Sitapur and for 
harassing the Christians. It was found that 
Christians of the village were found distilling liquor 
in the Ashram which they thought beyond the 
approach of the authorities. Eight cases were 
registered, eventually tried in court and ultimately 
ended in conviction. Father Tigga’s complaint 
had been made with a view to get the cases 
dropped. Father L. Von Royee made numerous 
complaints against the Station House Officer, 
Rajpur, for unnecessarily harassing Christians 
and asking them to leave the Police Station area 



and these allegations were also found to be 
false. Father Royee was also warned by the 
District Superintendent of Police, for putting up 
baseless and frivolous complaints. In that village 
a case under section 107, Criminal Procedure 
Code had been registered against Christians and 
Gonds who were quarrelling over the possession 
of a field. Father Royee made a complaint 
against the Sub-Inspector with a view to obtain 
his assistance in getting the land secured for the 
Christians. On 15th December, 1952, a heavy 
house-breaking by roof-cutting was committed in 
the village Batoli of Sitapur Station House and a 
villager was suspected by the police. A Roman 
Catholic Father took one Putu, son of Hori to the 
District Superintendent of Police and alleged that 
Putu was beaten by the Sub-Inspector, Sitapur, 
during investigation. A Magisterial enquiry was 
held and the allegation was found false. Putu 
Uraon stated in writing before the Magistrate that 
he was instigated by the Roman Catholic 
Missionary to give such a complaint against the 
police. 

16. Government got enquiries made as to the 
number of persons reported to be converted. It 
was found that whereas only four Uraons were 
converted in the year 1948, none in the year 
1949, five in the year 1950, there were 40 
conversions in the year 1951. Ini 952, the 
number of conversions went up to 4,003 and in 
1953 the total number of persons converted was 
877, and in 1954, 223. It was noticed that 
conversions had been confined solely to Uraons 
and in numerous cases entire families bad been 
converted. Whereas, Mission activities were 
confined to only three villages prior to 1951, it was 
extended to 23 villages of Surguja district where 
large number of conversions took place. 

17. We may refer to Rev. Christy’s case in some 
detail, because soon after he was detected 
smuggling rice to Bihar and a case was started 
against him, he made numerous complaints to 
authorities all over India, and there was intense 
press propaganda in foreign countries about the 
treatment meted out to Christians in Madhya 



Pradesh. The Government of Madhya Pradesh 
had prohibited export of rice from the border 
States to the neighbouring States of Bihar ant 
Orissa. This order had been issued in the year 
1950 when the foodgrain position in India was riot 
very satisfactory. For enforcement of this order 
outposts had been established throughout the 
border in important villages and it was the duty of 
the Government servants concerned to prevent 
smuggling. From the very large number of cases 
started against persons, it appeared that 
smuggling was going on a large scale. On 14th 
April, 1952 a servant or nominee of Rev. Christy 
was caught by the Naka staff carrying rice to 
Bihar. A letter written by Rev. Christy dated 14th 
April, 1952 was found in possession of the 
servant. In that letter Rev. Christy stated that he 
had purchased rice worth Rs. 24 for sending it to 
his village in Bihar district. This letter was found 
inside the rice bag which was seized by the Naka 
staff. Rev. Christy admitted before the Magistrate 
having written the letter and having arranged to 
get rice. His defence was that he had applied for 
a permit to the Deputy Commissioner, Surguja, on 
5th March, 1952 and that he had been orally 
assured by the Extra-Assistant Commissioner in 
charge that the permit would be sent to Rev. 
Christy in due course. Rev. Christy, therefore, 
pleaded that he came in possession of the rice 
believing that he would secure a permit. The 
Magistrate found that the application given by 
Rev. Christy for permit bad been rejected by the 
Deputy Commissioner and that no assurance was 
ever given to Rev. Christy by any one. He was 
accordingly convicted. In another case Rev. 
Christy along with two others was prosecuted 
under section 7 of the Essential supplies 
(Temporary Powers) Act, read with section 2 (1) 
(a) of the Foodgrains Export Restriction Order, 
1943, for exporting a bag of rice from this State to 
the adjoining State of Bihar. They were also 
prosecuted under section 332, Indian Penal 
Code, for causing injury to a public servant. In 
this case too they were found guilty and 
convicted. According to the prosecution this 
incident happened on 27th February, 1952. Rev. 
Christy’s defence was that the case had been 
falsely started because he assisted Christians in 



the villages in his jurisdiction in lodging 
complaints against the high-handedness and 
harassment by the Naka staff. It is apparent that 
Rev. Christy’s complaints were not restricted to 
the Naka staff only but to other authorities as 
well. The National Christian Council of Nagpur 
asked Mr. P. Lobo, Advocate, to visit the area 
concerned and to look into the matter concerning 
the prosecutions against Rev. Christy. The 
following is the substance of complaints which the 
National Christian Council made to the Prime 
Minister of India:- 

“It is stated that Christian 
Missionaries are being harassed in 
Madhya Pradesh. In view of the 
numerous instances of this kind, the 
National Christian Council, Nagpur, 
asked Mr. P. Lobo, Advocate, of 
Nagpur, to make an enquiry into 
this matter. Mr. P. Lobo has made 
an enquiry and has submitted a 
report. Mr. Lobo gives many 
instances of harassment by local 
officials and frivolous charges and 
often of fabricated evidence. One 
particular case viz., the case of 
Rev. J. C. Christy and two others of 
village Jodhpur was pointed out as 
an outstanding example of 
harassment. They are being 
prosecuted on framed up charges 
of smuggling rice in contravention 
of Food Control Regulations. 

According to Mr. Lobo the case of 
Mr. Christy is typical of several such 
instances of harassment by local 
officials. The fact that in a very 
large number of cases the persons 
concerned have been charged with 
the same offence, viz., smuggling of 
rice, lends colour to the view that 
this resemblance is not without 
significance.” 

18. The Government of Madhya Pradesh got an 
official enquiry made as to whether there had 



been any differentiation or harassment of 
Christian population or of Christian Missionaries 
and whether the allegations made by Mr. Lobo 
were correct. A reference to Rev. Christy’s case 
was also made by Raj Kumari Amrit Kaur in her 
letter, dated 9th October, 1952, to she Chief 
Minister, Madhya Pradesh, in course of which she 
stated that various complaints of discontent, 
prevailing in Madhya Pradesh against the 
Christian community, had come which bad rather 
perturbed her. Along with this letter she enclosed 
letters from Rev. Christy and Shri Lobo to her and 
also Rev. Christy’s memorandum on the 
persecution of Christians in Surguja district. After 
careful enquiry Government found that the 
complaints made by Rev. Christy directly or 
through Shri Lobo and the National Christian 
Council had no basis whatsoever, in fact. All the 
allegations of discrimination and harassment were 
totally false. They found that the allegations had 
been clearly magnified and what was being done 
in the ordinary process of law was given the 
shape of deliberate harassment so as to conceal 
the objectionable activities of Rev. Christy and 
other Missionaries in the areas concerned. 
Government noticed that a considerable amount 
of discontent and resentment prevailed amongst 
the local population of the Surguja district over 
the antireligious and anti-national activities of 
Christian Missionaries engaged in efforts to gain a 
foothold in the Surguja district which was hitherto 
a closed ground for them. Government had 
received representations from almost all members 
of the Legislative Assembly and other respectable 
citizens in this behalf and public opinion was 
being organized. A pamphlet was issued under 
the signature of the Maharaja of Surguja and 
other leading citizens of Ambikapur town in which 
an appeal was made to the people to he cautious 
against the activities of the Missionaries. The 
Maharaja of Surguja had written to Government in 
October, 1952 protesting against the political 
activities carried on by the Missionaries in the 
name of religion and exploitation of the rural 
Adivasis. 


19. It will thus he seen that whereas on the one 



hand an impression was being created all over 
India at the instance of foreign Missionaries 
engaged in the Udaipur and Surguja States that 
the Madhya Pradesh Government was following a 
policy discrimination or harassment of the 
Christian population and Missionaries, on the 
other hand numerous complaints were being 
received of the objectionable activities of these 
foreign Missionaries, especially in the tribal areas 
and public resentment was mounting up. 
Government was not clear whether the agitation 
was confined only to the newly-merged States or 
whether other areas of Madhya Pradesh where 
the Missions were working were also affected. It 
must be noticed that about 30 different Missions 
are working its Madhya Pradesh with varying 
number of centres in each district. Almost the 
entire Madhya Pradesh is covered by Missionary 
activities and there is hardly any district where a 
Mission of one denomination or the other is not 
operating in some form or the other. More than 
half the people of Madhya Pradesh (57.4 per 
cent) consist of members of the Scheduled 
Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other Backward 
Classes and it is amongst these that Missionary 
activities are mostly confined. The background of 
Missionary activities in the old Madhya Pradesh 
and the merged States was repeatedly brought to 
Government’s notice as a warning to be taken 
notice of and the almost similar methods adopted 
by the Roman Catholic and other Missions in the 
new areas of Surguja and Udaipur States was 
reported to be of great significance. Missionaries 
had vehemently denied allegations of proselytism 
and anti-national activities and had levelled 
charges against local officials whenever enquiries 
were made by such officers. In respect of 
authorities outside Madhya Pradesh these 
Missionaries also complained against the attitude 
if the Madhya Pradesh Government and vile 
propaganda against the Government was carried 
on in the foreign press. In these circumstances, 
Government decided to get the matter examined 
thoroughly through an open and public enquiry 
and our Committee came to be appointed. 



CHAPTER III. - CASTES AND TRIBES OF 
MADHYA PRADESH 


As Missionary activity in Madhya Pradesh is 
confined mostly to members of certain Tribes and 
to certain border areas, it is desirable to have an 
idea of some of the important Tribes, their 
occupations, characteristics, and social customs. 
In subsequent chapters we shall deal with the 
Missions working amongst these Tribes and the 
history of their advent and progress amongst 
these Adivasis. 

2. We shall first refer to the important aboriginal 
Tribes of Uraon, Baiga, Marias and the Gonds. 
Before doing so, it may be useful to remember 
that the Aboriginal Tribes mostly called Adiwasis 
or Adimjatis claim to be the original inhabitants of 
India. The Aryans, who came into the country 
subsequently, gradually pushed them back from 
the fertile lands of the Indo-Gangestic plain into 
forests and hilly tracts of the areas on the borders 
of the present States of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and 
Madhya Pradesh. Even in these areas, 
exploitation of the simple-minded and illiterate 
aboriginals continued by the Jamindars, the 
businessmen and other communities. Loans at 
exhorbitant rates of interest were advanced, 
agricultural produce was purchased at cheap 
rates, forced or free labour was taken and land 
made cultivable after years of toil, was taken back 
on one pretext or the other. By this process the 
aboriginals were gradually pushed further and 
further back into the jungle areas, and practically 
no attempt to improve the educational, medical, 
mental or economic conditions of the aboriginals 
was ever made. The first positive step was taken 
by the British Government in the 19th century 
after important aboriginal rebellions in the Santhal 
Parganas of Bengal and the Ranchi district of 
Bihar, and a special law was enacted forbidding 
sale of land by an aboriginal to a non-aboriginal 
and other protective measures were introduced. 
With the idea of encouraging the uplift of 
aboriginals and possibly with the motive of 
encouraging their conversion to Christianity, 
Christian Missionaries were encouraged to open 



schools and hospitals in the Tribal areas and till a 
few years ago these Christian schools and 
dispensaries were the only ones in the hilly 
Adiwasi country in addition to a few institutions 
which the Government had established. The 
Christian Missionaries did their work with 
considerable devotion and selflessness and 
brought about many conversions in spite of the 
deep-rooted Tribal tradition and Tribal customs. 
One noticeable effect of this long association of 
Christian Missionaries with the Tribal people to 
the exclusion of other sections of the community 
has been that the aboriginals have come to look 
upon the Hindus as hostile to their interests and 
the Christian Missionaries as their friends. 

3. How simple-minded and capable of being 
duped easily the Tribals are, will be apparent from 
some of the Tribes whose characteristics and 
customs we have studied in some detail. The 
Uraons, according to the 1941 Census, were 
1,64,731 in number. It is a Dravadian Tribe 
inhabiting the Korba Zamindari of Bilaspur district, 
the former States of Udaipur and Jashpur in the 
Raigrah district and the Surguja district. In the 
Korba Zamindari, in Udaipur and Jashpur, they 
are mostly found in the plains, whereas in the 
Surguja district they mostly reside in jungles and 
on the hills. In the more settled areas they have 
taken to regular cultivation, but in the Surguja 
district the main occupation the Uraons still 
continues to be hunting and gathering of fruits, 
although attempts are being made by 
Government to make them settle down in plains 
and to follow modern methods of agriculture. The 
Uraons have no sub-castes among them. They 
have numerous Gotras after the names of plants, 
trees, animals and birds, etc. Marriage within the 
Gotra is not permissible. They use very simple 
dress mostly of cloth prepared by the village 
weaver. Their staple food is rice and dal with such 
meat as may be available through hunting. In 
marriages and other social customs and habits 
they follow the conventional practices of the 
Hindus. Liquor plays a very important part in their 
festivities. It will be interesting to note that the 
Roman Catholics had a greater number of 



converts because they did not insist on prohibiting 
consumption of liquor, whereas the Lutherans, 
who at one time advocated Prohibition, could 
secure a small number of converts only. 

4. The Baigas are found in the Dindori tahsil of 
Mandla district. Baihar tahsil of Balaghat district 
and part of Bilaspur district adjoining the Mandla 
district. It is one of the most primitive Tribes of 
India and the Baigas are generally interested in 
‘bewar’ cultivation on the slopes of the hills or on 
the hill-tops. The Baiga is a good hunter, who 
loves his bow and arrow. Besides hunting, 
another occupation is the gathering of wild fruits. 
He occasionally prepares baskets and bamboo 
mattings. He is generally shy of civilized man and 
dresses scantily. Bodies are tattooed from head 
to foot and women take delight in wearing brass 
ornaments and necklaces of coloured beads. 

5. The Marias are members of another primitive 
Tribe found in the Chanda and Bastar districts. 
Hunting is their important vocation on which they 
occasionally spend months together. Wild-fruit 
gathering is undertaken to supplement their food 
and also for purposes of barter for salt, iron, etc. 
We were not able to pay a visit to the territories 
inhabited by Marias, but we were informed 
authoritatively that there are practically no 
converts to Christianity from this Tribe. 

6. The most numerous of the aboriginal Tribes, 
the Gonds, reside in Sanjari-Balod and Bemetara 
tahsils of Durg district, Baihar tahsil of Balaghat 
district and throughout the Mandla, Raipur, 
Chhindwara, Betul, Chanda and Bilaspur 
districts. They are mostly agriculturists although 
some are landless labourers. Fruit gathering and 
collection of Tendu leaves form their sources of 
subsidiary income. At one time they were Rulers 
of Gondwana and consequently an aristocratic 
section of the Gonds has arisen. Hindu rites and 
customs in respect of marriages and observance 
of festivals are followed, Holi, Dasera, Diwali and 
Shivaratri are observed and they dress like other 
Hindus. 



7. Whether the aboriginal Tribes are Hindus or not 
has been a question of great controversy. The 
Missionaries have throughout claimed that they 
are not Hindus. A continuous attempt has been 
made by these organizations to foster a sense of 
separateness amongst the Tribes from the rest of 
the Hindus. 

8. Speaking about the separation of the 
aborigines from the mass of the Indian population 
Gandhiji remarked: “We were strangers to this 
sort of classification- ‘animists’ -aborigines, etc., 
but we have learnt it from the English rulers”. To 
the question put by Dr. Chesterman whether 
Gandhiji’s objection applied to areas like the Kond 
hills where the aboriginal races were animists, the 
unhesitating reply was, “yes, it does apply, 
because I know that in spite of being described as 
animists these tribes have from times immemorial 
been absorbed in Hinduism. They are, like the 
indigenous medicine, of the soil, and their roots lie 
deep there” (Pages 192 and 299 Christian 
Missions. Navajiwan Press). 

9. Gandhiji’s statement is amply borne out by the 
researches of scholars like the late M. M. Kunte 
who wrote a thesis on “The Vicissitudes of Indian 
Civilization” in 1880. In the introduction lie says: 
“Budhism was a revolution caused by the energy 
of the aboriginal races”. While discussing the 
social changes during the Acharya period he 
says : “intermarriages between the Aryas and the 
Shudras. Kolis and other aborigines were 
frequent”. “The Vijasneys sanhita” considers the 
growth of the mixed classes an evil and 
condemns it, but the mixed classes gradually 
acquired power and influence in the State. At the 
time of the Mahabharat such great men as “Vyas” 
and “Vidur” were the offsprings of the connection 
of the Aryan with the aborigines. Satyavati, who 
was the daughter of the Koli chieftain became the 
queen of King Shantanu. Dhritrastra, Pandu and 
Vidur were the offsprings of Vyas. At that time no 
stain was attached to intermarriages between the 
Aryas and the aborigines. Bhima married 
Heedimba and Arjun married Naga girl called 
Ullupi. A class of Aryas called Upakrishta was 



created. Upakrishta means those who were 
admitted to the privilege of performing a sacrifice. 
(Pages 252-253 ibid). 


10. The Nishadas were an aboriginal tribe. They 
were sometimes included in the Pancha-Janah, i. 
e., the five-fold Aryas. Gradually the Nishadas 
were incorporated. (Page 254 ibid). 

11. As to the evolution of castes it has to be 
noticed that among the various ways in which 
they came to be formed was the absorption of the 
tribes into the Hindu social system as stated in 
the “Imperial Gazetteer of India” 1907, Volume I, 
page 314. Where a tribe has insensibly been 
converted into a caste, it preserved its original 
name and customs, but modified its animistic 
practices more and more in the direction of 
orthodox Hinduism. Numerous examples of this 
process are to be found all over India and it has 
been at work for centuries. 

12. We may quote here the well-known verse 
about the mixed origin of those who are honoured 
as religious leaders in Hindu society: It is as 
follows:- 


""OmVmj i'mnVw Hi$dE'm© : 
id [m-'rmA' [amea : 
ew-'rn ewH$: H$UmXm»'nVWm 
{by-' : 

gwVm{ A dV 2 ." 

(Bhavisya Mahapuran Chapter 42). Valmiki, the 
author of the Epic Ramayan and Hanuman the so- 
called monkey God were also aborigines. 

13. The process by which this transformation 
takes place is as follows: The leading men of an 
aboriginal tribe having somehow got on in the 
world and become landed proprietors manage to 
enroll themselves in one of the most distinguished 
castes. They usually set up as Rajputs and their 
first step is to consult a Brahmin to discover for 
them a mythical ancestor of some great Rajput 




Community. By the process of inter-marriages 
they come to be absorbed in the fullest sense of 
the word and are locally accepted as high class 
Hindus. (Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume I, 
Page 312.) 

14. It is interesting to see how the matter came to 
be dealt with by the Census officers. Here we 
gratefully draw upon the result of the study of the 
Aboriginal problem by Dr. G. S. Ghurye (Cantab.), 
Head of the Department of Sociology, Bombay 
University, pp. 2-8, The Aborigines so-called and 
their Future. In 1891 J.A. Baines, the 
Commissioner of Census considered the 
distinction between tribal people who were 
Hinduized and those that followed their tribal form 
of religion as futile because, “every stratum of 
Indian society is more or less saturated with 
Animistic Conceptions but little raised above 
those which predominate in the early state of 
religious development. (Census of India 1891 
Report, Volume I, Part I, page 158). In the 
census of 1901 Sir Herbert Risley observed that 
animism comprised a medley of heterogeneous 
and uncomfortable superstitions and that it 
figured in the original returns of the census under 
as many different designations as there are tribes 
professing it. According to him Hinduism itself 
was animism more or less transformed by 
philosophy or as magic tempered by metaphysics 
and his final opinion was that no sharp line of 
demarcation could be drawn between Hinduism 
and Animism as the one shaded away insensibly 
into the other. (The People of India second 
edition, pages 218, 233 and 245.) 

15. In 1911 Sir E. A. Gait, the Commissioner of 
the Census remarked that because a man sought 
the help of a Brahmin priest or made offerings at 
a Hindu shrine, it did riot follow that he had given 
up the last shreds of his inherited animistic beliefs 
and that owing to the gradual nature of the 
process of Hinduizing it was extremely difficult to 
say at what stage a man should be regarded as 
having become a Hindu (Census of India, 1911, 
India, Volume I, Part I, pages 129 130). Sir A. J. 
Baines wrote in 1912 in his Ethnography, pages 8 



and 9, “one of the most interesting ethnographical 
questions entering into the census enquiry is that 
of the rate at which Brahminism is, in name at 
least absorbing the animistic tribal population.” In 
order to solve the practical difficulty which the 
census officers had to face he used the term 
“tribal animism” or “tribal religion” for the religion 
returned under the tribal name, by those who did 
not adhere to any of the wider creeds. In the year 
1921 Mr. P. C. Tallents, the Superintendent of the 
Census Operations in Bihar and Orissa and Mr. 
Sedgwick, the Superintendent of the Census in 
Bombay were faced with the difficulty of 
distinguishing a Hindu from an animist, and Mr. 
Sedgwick recommended in unequivocal terms 
that animism as a religion should be entirely 
abandoned and that all those hitherto classed as 
animists should be grouped with the Hindus 
(Census of India, 1921-Bihar and Orissa Report, 
page 125, and Bombay Report, page 67). Mr. J. 
T. Marten, the Commissioner of Census arriving 
been impressed by their views changed the 
religious division of animism of the previous 
censuses into that of tribal religion; but he at the 
same time was not satisfied about that way of 
solving tee problem, for he remarked “If the word 
animism is vague in respect of what it connotes, 
the term “tribal religion” is not by any means 
definite in what it denotes.” (Census of India, 

1921, India Report, Volume I, Part I, page 111.) 

16. In 1931 Dr. J. H. Hutton, the Commissioner of 
Census, retained the heading “tribal religion” in 
the body of the report, but used that term in 
contradistinction to Hindu, Muslim, Christian, etc., 
in the tables at the end of the chapter on religion. 
Although he isolated the tribal people in this way, 
he admitted that the line between Hinduism and 
tribal religion was difficult to draw, and that the 
inclusion of the latter within the Hindu fold was 
easy. (Census of India, 1931, India Report, 
Volume I, Part I, page 397.) 

17. Mr. W. H. Shoobert, the Superintendent of the 
Census of 1931 for the Central Provinces and 
Berar also referred to the difficulty of obtaining 
satisfactorily accurate returns of those who 



retained their tribal creeds but deliberately 
returned themselves as Hindus for the reason that 
it would elevate them in the social scale, whereas 
to the more simple of the tribals the term “Hindu” 
conveyed no connection with any religion but 
merely indicated a race. He also was impressed 
by the fact that “there was much in the religion of 
each which could easily be assimilated to that of 
the other”. But he thought that it would be 
incorrect to class the Hinduized aboriginal with 
the ordinary Hindu villager of the Central 
Provinces, for although after centuries of varying 
degrees or contacts each may have assimilated 
ideas and customs from the other, their cultures 
are most obviously distinct (Census of India, 

1931, Central Provinces and Berar Report, 

Volume XII, Part I, pages 397 and 333). It may 
be mentioned here that Mr. W. V. Grigson, I.C.S., 
agreed with Dr. V. Elwin’s opinion that the religion 
of the Indian aboriginal outside Assam should be 
regarded as the religion of the Hindu family, and 
that for purposes of Census, all aborigines should 
be classed as Hindus by religion (page 8, The 
Aboriginal Problem in the Central Provinces and 
Berar). 

18. It is not easy to find any sound reason for 
isolating the tribal people from the Hindus in view 
of the repeated admissions made that the 
animistic or tribal religion was hardly 
distinguishable from the Hindu religion. The 
mystery is solved when we come to examine the 
Missionary activities within these tribal areas. 

19. Mr. Stent, who was Deputy Commissioner of 
Amravati sent a note to the Census Officer to say 
that the educated Indian officers of Government 
maintained that Gonds, Korkus, Bhils, Gowaris 
and Banjaras were Hindus, and he himself 
conceded that when members of these tribes 
settled in a Hindu village they become Hindus. 

He commented on the tendency of Hinduism to 
absorb the religion of other people, and also 
pointed out that the aboriginals returned 
themselves as Hindus to escape from the taint of 
barbarism and to raise themselves in the social 
scale. (Census Report, Central Provinces and 



Berar, 1931, Volume XII, Part I, page 329.) 

20. Viewing the problem from the point of view of 
caste, it would appear that the process was 
similar to that of religion. In 1891 Baines 
arranged the castes according to their traditional 
occupations, viz., under the category of 
Agricultural and Pastoral castes lie formed a sub¬ 
heading and named it forest tribes. That 
indicates that the forest dwellers were not 
excluded from the description of the caste. 

21. In the next two censuses, i.e., of 1901 and 
1911, Sir Herbert Risley and Sir E. A. Gait 
included the so-called animists in the table for 
castes along with others, indicating against each 
the number following Hinduism or Animism or 
some other religion. (Ghurye, page 7). 

22. In 1921 Mr. Marten followed the same 
practice, only changing the heading of Animism to 
Tribal religion. In 1931 Dr. Hutton substituted the 
term “Primitive Tribes” for “Forest Tribes” and 
added a special appendix on “Primitive Tribes” 
giving their names and numbers. 

23. In the Census of 1941 there was a sharp 
departure from the previous one of 1931. The 
heads were counted community-wise instead of 
on the basis of religion. To elucidate the matter, 
a tribal who belonged to the so-called scheduled 
tribes was classified as such under the original 
community table despite his or her being a 
Christian fly faith. The consequence was that to 
all appearances the all-India figures for Indian 
Christians in that year were shown as 6,040,665 
which was less by 256,098 than the previous all- 
India figure, viz., 6,296,733 as recorded in 1931. 
That, however, did not mean that Christianity 
failed to progress in the decade between 1931 
and 1941. The explanation of this paradox is to 
be found in the short note on community made by 
Mr. Yeats, the Census Commissioner of India 
(Chapter IV, page 29, Volume I, Census of India, 
1941, Part I Table) where he discloses that 
approximately one-twentieth of the total tribal 



population falls within the Christians on the 
religions basis. Calculating the total figure for the 
whole of India on the lines indicated by him, it 
would be found that there was actually an 
increase of 3,474,128 persons approximately 
among the Christian community during the 
decade 1931-41 (pages 448-449, Christian 
Proselytism in India by Parekh). 

24. By reason of the Backwardness of these 
tribes, the Constitution of India has made special 
provisions for their protection. Under Article 46 of 
the Constitution, the State is directed to promote 
with special care the educational and economic 
interests of the weaker sections of the people, 
and in particular, of the scheduled castes and the 
scheduled tribes, and to protect them from social 
injustice and all forms of exploitation. The 
Constitution has thus recognised that members of 
the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes 
belong to the weaker sections of society and has 
sought to protect them from all forms of 
exploitation. In pursuance of these obligations, 
the Government of Madhya Pradesh have 
created a separate Tribal Welfare Department 
which has prepared a scheme for the uplift of 
aborigines. The main features of the scheme are 
to look after the educational and other needs of 
the aborigines so as to bring them on a par with 
other people. Government approved a scheme, 
the total estimated cost of which was Rs. 169,60 
lakhs in the First Five-Year Plan. It was 
introduced in December 1952 and 40 centres 
were established each providing for the following 
facilities and services:- 

(a) A primary and a residential middle school. 

(b) A midwife for child welfare and ante-natal and 
post-natal treatments. 

(c) A stud bull and poultry farm. 

(d) Cottage industries workshop. 


(e) Anti-malaria control measures. 



(f) Distribution of simple medicines. 

(g) Multi-purpose co-operative societies. 

(h) Arrangements for social, cultural and moral 
uplift activities. 

(i) A drinking-water well. 

(j) Approach roads. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 






PART II 


CHAPTER I. - MISSIONS IN MADHYA 
PRADESH AND INDIA 

Missionary organisations are so wide-spread in 
this country that they seem to constitute “a State 
within the State”. The Roman Catholic Church is 
a highly centralised organisation, Spread over all 
the world with power concentrated in the Pope, 
who, in the words of Pope Leo XIII (in the 
encyclical letter, dated June 20, 1894) “holds 
upon this earth the place of God Almighty”. 

Hence he is crowned with a Triple Crown as King 
of Heaven and of the Earth and of the Lower 
Regions. 

2. As regards the Protestants, they were divided 
into various national churches which sent out 
Missionaries as limbs of “National 
Imperialisms” (World Politics in Modern 
Civilization by Barnes, page 273). They are 
numerous and on the whole the number of 
denominations is not decreasing but increasing 
(page 21, Elements of Ecumenism). Hence in 
their case, centralisation was necessary to fight 
on two fronts, viz., religious nationalism of the 
country which they assail and Communism which 
they want to defend themselves against. With all 
this effort on centralisation, the Roman Catholic 
Church, the Orthodox Church of the Byzantine 
tradition and the oriental National Churches 
described as the Monophysites, the Unitarian 
Churches of England and America have refused 
to enter the fellowship of World Council of 
Churches with its headquarters at Geneva and on 
the other hand it has to meet .violent and growing 
opposition from the International Council of 
Christian Churches and another fundamentalist 
group, viz., the World Evangelical Fellowship 
(pages 18 to 20, The Elements of Ecumenism). 

3. The Evangelical arm of the World Council of 
Churches is the International Missionary Council. 
The National Christian Council of India, which 



was formerly known as the National Missionary 
Council, came to be organised in 1914 as the 
result of the First World Missionary Conference 
held in Edinburgh in 1910 and is affiliated to the 
International Missionary Council which has its 
offices in London and New York. It is a 
constituent member of the International 
Missionary Council. It is established on the 
acceptance of the principle that the Church is 
central in the Christian enterprise, that the local 
congregation is basic to its life and witness and 
that evangelism is its primary task. Among its 
various functions are - 

(1) to consult the International Missionary Council 
regarding such matters as call for consideration or 
action. 

(2) to communicate and co-operate with the 
National Christian Councils of other countries 
which are members of the International 
Missionary Council and with other similar bodies 
in matters affecting the Christian enterprise as a 
whole. 

4. In India there are Regional Christian Councils 
in 14 places, viz., Andhra, Assam, Bengal, Bihar, 
Bombay, Hyderabad, Karnatak, Keral, Tamil-Nad, 
Mid-India, North-West India, Santhal, United 
Provinces and Utkal. 

5. The foreign personnel in India now numbers 
4,877, an excess of 500 on the returns for 1951. 
The increased personnel has occurred in the 
smaller Missions, most of which do not yet have 
any organised churches associated with them. 
(Compiler’s Introduction, Christian Hand-Book, of 
India 1954-SS). 

6. In Madhya Pradesh, there are Indian personnel 
251 and foreign 402 (page 210 ibid). 

7. The institutions which are conducted by the 
Protestant Missions can be divided under five 
heads as follows:- 



(i) Economic, 

(ii) Educational, 

(iii) Evangelistic, 

(iv) Medical, 

(v) Philanthropic and General. 

Under (i) Economic, fall the 
following.- 

(a) agricultural settlements, 

(b) co-operative societies, 

(c) printing presses, 

(d) literature distributing centres, 

(e) miscellaneous industries. 

Under (ii) Educational- 

(a) colleges, 

(b) high schools, 

(c) middle schools, 

(d) teachers’ training institutions, 

(e) industrial schools, 

(f) schools for Missionaries’ 
children. 

Under (iii) Evangelistic- 

(a) theological colleges and 
seminaries, 

(b) pastoral and evangelistic 
workers training institutions, 

(c) Bible correspondence course, 

(d) Christian Ashrams. 

Under (iv) Medical- 

(a) hospitals, 

(b) dispensaries, 

(c) leprosy institutions, 

(d) tuberculosis sanatorium; and 

Under (v) Philanthropic and 
General- 



(a) homes for the blind and deaf, 
etc. 

(b) homes for women, 

(c) homes for converts, 

(d) orphanages, 

(e) social and welfare 
organisations, 

(h) Missionary homes of rest, 

(g) Christian retreat and study 
centres. 

A statement giving particulars about Protestant 
Christian Missions operating in Madhya Pradesh 
and the institutions conducted by the several 
Missions is to be found in Appendix 3. 


CHAPTER II. - HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN 
MISSIONS, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO 
OLD MADHYA PRADESH AND THE MERGED 

STATES 

The present aims and objects of Missionary 
activity in some parts of Madhya Pradesh can 
best be understood against the background of 
history. The advent of Christianity in India is 
shrouded in myth and tradition. Tradition assigns 
the origin of the most ancient Christian community 
in India, called the Syrian Christians to the 
preaching of St. Thomas, the Apostle. 

2. The spread of the Christianity in India may be 
considered under four definite periods, viz. 

(1) The Syrian Period. 

(2) The Roman Catholic Period under Portuguese 
domination. 

(3) The Protestant Period under British 
domination. 

(4) The Modern Period. 

The Syrian Period 


3. Long, before Christ there had been commerce 



between Europe and India not only by caravans, 
which took the land route through Persia, but also 
by ships down the Red Sea or the Persian Gulf. 

In fact, the foreign trade of India is as old as her 
history. Relics found in Sumeria and Egypt point 
to a traffic between these countries and India as 
far back as 3000 B.C. Commerce between India 
and Babylon by the Persian Gulf flourished from 
700 to 480 B. C. Rome in her halcyon days 
depended upon India for spices and perfumes as 
well as silks, brocades, muslins and cloth of gold. 
The Parthian wars were fought by Rome largely 
to keep open the trade route to India. Even in 
later times Europe looked upon the Hindus as 
experts in every line of manufacture, woodwork, 
ivory-work, metal-work, bleaching, dying, tanning, 
soap-making, glass blowing, gun powder, fire 
works, cement, etc. (Page 479, Story of 
Civilization by Durant). 

4. St. Thomas Christians (or followers of the 
Church of the East) in small numbers began to 
visit Malbar frequently for trade purposes, and 
some of them settled there. During the Decian 
and Diocletian persecutions many Christians 
living in the Eastern Province of the Roman 
Empire fled to Persia and joined the Church in 
that Country. Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople 
(A.D. 428-431) who denied the hypostatic union 
and maintained the existence of the two distinct 
natures in Christ, was condemned and deposed 
for “heresy” at the Council of Ephesus in 431 A.D. 
His followers, the Nestorians, were persecuted 
with such vigour that they were forced to leave 
the Empire and by the time of Justinian (A.D. 527) 
it was difficult to find a church within the whole 
Roman Empire hat shared the views of 
Nestorians. The exiled, Nestorians joined the 
Church in Persia. 

5. Between the Fifth and the Ninth centuries 
Nestorian expansion was phenomenal. The 
Nestorian traders brought to Malabar several 
colonies of Christians from Persian lands during 
this period. These colonists had their own priests 
and deacons and a bishop from Persia. As the 
years rolled on these early colonies adapted 



themselves to the ways of the Hindus and learnt 
to maintain their racial purity. Even to this day the 
Syrian Christians claim that their community has 
remained unadulterated by proselytism. 

Advent of European Christianity 

6. The first Latin Christian Missionary who is 
known to have visited India was John de Monte 
Corvino, afterwards Archbishop of Cambale in 
Cathay. Sent out by Pope Nicholas IV as a 
Missionary to China, he on his way to China 
halted in India about the year 1291. He remained 
in the country for thirteen months, and baptised in 
different places about one hundred people. The 
next Latin Missionary of whom we find mention is 
a French Dominican Friar named Jordanus. 

About the year 1323 or earlier with other Friars, 
both Dominican and Franciscan, he found his way 
to the Bombay coast where it is said his 
companions were put to death by Muslims. This 
was the period when Christianity was unable to 
stand against the overwhelming forces of Islam. 

7. By the close of the Thirteenth century these 
European, Missionaries were able to create a 
chain of Christian colonies on the Western coast 
of India, between Thana (Bombay) and Quilon 
(Travancore). Stimulated by the fear of Muslims, 
particularly Mongols, Rome, got reconciled to 
many things which it did not like, and a Christian 
unity was established. In the early years of the 
Fourteenth century a complete Persian hierarchy 
was created with a Metropolitan whose scat was 
at a town south of the Caspian sea and whose 
jurisdiction extended over Persia, India, Ethiopia 
and Central Asia. 

The Roman Catholic period under the 
Portuguese Dominion 

8. The Missionary work of Western Christendom 
began with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1498. 
This should be considered the beginning of the 
aggressive Missionary Era of the Catholic Church 
in India. In 1498 Vasco da Gama anchored off 



Calicut, but on that occasion he had no, 
intercourse with Christians. When he visited India 
a second time in 1502, he was surprised to find a 
Christian community on the western coast of 
India. These Christians welcomed him and 
applied to him for assistance against their Muslim 
neighbours. Large numbers of monks were sent 
to India with the Portuguese fleets, and Goa soon 
became the centre of a vigorous missionary 
enterprise. By now the Portuguese strategy of 
establishing the Protectorate of the King of 
Portugal over the Christians of the Malabar coast 
had become successful. 


9. Although in the sphere of trade and commerce 
the Portuguese on the West coast made very 
substantial progress, no great success was at first 
achieved in their missionary endeavours. The 
King of Portugal, dissatisfied with the small 
progress made, applied to Ignatius Loyola to send 
the entire Jesuit Order to India. The motto of 
Portuguese adventure in India was “the service of 
God and our own advantage”, and King Manuel 
was determined to use all available resources to 
achieve this object. Loyola could not grant the 
request; but in 1541 Francis Xavier, the greatest 
of all Jesuits, was sent to the East, and the day of 
his arrival may well be called the birthday of 
Roman Catholic Missions in India. He only spent 
about four and a half years in the country, but in 
that brief space of time he is said to have 
baptised about 60,000 people, nearly all from the 
fisherman castes, living on the South-West and 
South-East coasts of India. They poured en 
masse into the Church. 

10. This mass movement work of the Jesuits was 
in fact an appeal to material interests. The 
Fishermen of the South-East coast were 
constantly raided by pirates. One of their fellow 
countrymen, living in Goa who had become 
Christian, persuaded them to apply for help to the 
Portuguese Viceroy. So a deputation was sent to 
Goa, and the Viceroy agreed to deliver them from 
their enemies on condition that the whole caste 
became Christian and subjects of the King of 



Portugal. The bargain wag ratified by the baptism 
of all the delegates then and there. A fleet was 
sent, the pirates were dispersed, and the whole 
caste was baptised in a few weeks. 

11. The impatient Xavier, still dissatisfied with the 
result of his labour wrote to the King of Portugal 
that the only hope of increasing the number of 
Christians was by the use of the secular power of 
the State. As a result of this note, the King issued 
orders that in Goa and other Portuguese 
settlements, “all idols shall be sought out and 
destroyed, and severe penalties shall be laid 
upon all such as shall dare to make an idol or 
shall shelter or hide a Brahmin”. (Page 54 History 
of Missions Richter). He also ordered that special 
privileges should be granted to Christians in order 
that the natives may be inclined to submit 
themselves to the yoke of Christianity. (P. 54- 
ibid). 

12. In 1514 Pope Leo X granted to the Kings of 
Portugal the right of patronage over Churches 
and of nomination to all the Benefices which they 
would establish. In 1534 all trading stations from 
Bombay to Nagapatnam where the Portuguese 
flag was floating, soon became Catholic centres 
with resident Chaplains. Along the coast 
Franciscans had baptised some 20,000 Paravas 
(Fishermen) even before Xavier landed in India. 
Goa, the capital of Portuguese India, was made 
an Episcopal See. Now successive waves of 
invasions of India by Catholic Missionaries from 
the West were started; besides the Jesuits in 
(1542) the Dominicans (in 1548), the 
Augustinians (in 1572) also arrived in India with 
the active support of the Portuguese Kings. By 
the middle of 1577 a Christian centre was formed 
in Bengal by bands of Portuguese adventurers 
and an Augustinian Father and their slaves. Thus 
the Portuguese continued their work of “winning 
Indians for Christ their Lord” with the mighty 
sword in one hand and the crucifix in the other. 


Catholic expansion 



13. In 1872 the Augustinians distributed their 
missionaries in Basein, Bengal and other parts. 
The Jesuits had been making determined efforts 
to reform the Syrian Church in accordance with 
Roman ideas and to bring it into subjection to the 
Pope. In 1594 a Jesuit Mission started from Goa 
to the court of Akbar the Mughal and they got his 
permission to establish Christian centres in Agra, 
Delhi and Lahore. The Catholic writers say that in 
1600, after a century of Mission work the Church 
had gathered about 2,70,000 converts in India. 

14. A new departure was made at the beginning 
of the seventeenth century by another great 
Jesuit Missionary. He was an Italian of noble 
birth, of great intellectual ability and devotion. He 
came to Madura, capital of a Hindu Kingdom, 
outside the jurisdiction of the Portuguese 
Viceroy. His name was Robert De Nobili. He 
saw that the policy of Xavier and other Catholic 
Fathers who were making mass conversions of 
lower castes by using the secular power of the 
State was disastrous. He clearly saw that unless 
the Higher classes were won for Christ the 
Church was not going to drive her roots into the 
soil of India. So he at once threw over the policy 
of Xavier and struck out a line of his own. 

15. Nobili appeared in Madura clad in the saffron 
robes of a Sadhu with sandal paste on his 
forehead and the sacred thread on his body from 
which hung a cross and took his abode in the 
Brahmin quarters. He thus attracted a large 
number of people. He gave out that he was a 
Brahmin from Rome. He showed documentary 
evidence to prove that he belonged to a clan of 
the parent stock that had migrated from ancient 
Aryavart and assured the members of the high 
castes that by becoming a Christian one did not 
renounce one’s caste, nobility or usage. (Pages 
65-70 Christians and Christianity in India and 
Pakistan). He learnt Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit, 
and took up the Brahman style of living. He wrote 
in Sanskrit a Christian Sandhyavandanam for 
Brahmin converts. He declared that he was 
bringing a message which had been taught in 
India by Indian ascetics of yore and that he was 



only restoring to Hindus one of their lost sacred 
books, namely the 5th Veda, called Yeshurveda. 

It passed for a genuine work until the Protestant 
Missionaries exposed the fraud about the year 
1840. (History of Missions, Richter, Page 57). In 
five years, from 1607 to 1611, he baptised 87 
Brahmins. These conversions, then so 
marvellous, drew upon De Nobili the eyes of 
friend and foe alike. A big controversy raged 
among the Roman Catholic missionaries the 
world over for a considerable length of time. 

Much of the opposition could be explained by 
wounded pride on the Portuguese side. In 1623 
Pope Gregory XV gave a bull in favour of De 
Nobili, declaring thus: We allow the present and 
future converts to wear the (Brahmin) thread and 
the tuft of hair as distinctive marks of race, social 
rank and office, to use sandal wood as ornament 
and to take ablutions as a matter of hygiene. This 
Brahman Sanyasi of the ‘Roman Gotra’, Father 
De Nobili, worked for 40 years and died at the 
ripe age of 89 in 1656. It is said that he had 
converted about a lakh of persons but they all 
melted away after his death. 

By 1700 India had 6,00,000 of Catholics. 

16. The Catholic expansion continued. The 
French Jesuits, who had their headquarters in 
Pondicherry from 1700, passed it on to the Paris 
Foreign Mission Society in 1776. At Calcutta a 
Catholic chapel was erected in 1700. The Italian 
Capuchins penetrated into Tibet in 1713. Thus, a 
network of Roman Catholic Missions was spread 
all over India, from Tibet to Cape Comorin and 
from Punjab to Assam. Within two hundred years 
after the Portuguese landed in India, it is claimed 
the Catholic Church had 9,58,000 adherents in 
India (Catholic Directory, 1950). 

The Protestant period 

17. The Missionary work of the Protestant Church 
began in India in 1706. Soon after the Dutch, the 
Danes entered India and established a number of 
factories on the eastern and western coasts of 



India. In 1706, German Lutherans, sent by King 
Frederick IV of Denmark, reached Tranquebar as 
Missionaries to the Danish Possession in India. 
Their work at first was mainly confined to the 
Danish and English settlements. Later they did a 
lot of preaching, teaching and Bible translation. 
Ziegenbalg, Grundler, Schwartaz and others 
under the patronage of the King of Denmark were 
the pioneers of the Protestant Mission in India. 
The Danish Missionary Society in association with 
German Missions opened the era of Protestant 
Missionary enterprise in India. The Bible was 
translated into Tamil by them. They laid the 
foundations of the Church in the districts of 
Tinnevelly, Trichinopoly, Tanjore and Madras. 

Anglican Missions 

18. The Danes had scarcely commenced 
assuming political power when they were 
superseded by the British. The first English 
Mission established in India was that of the 
Baptists in Bengal. By the Charter of 1690 the 
East India Company was charged to see “All 
chaplains in the East India Service shall learn the 
language of the country in order that they may be 
better able to instruct the Gentoos, heathen 
servants and slaves of the Company and of its 
agents into Protestant religion” (page 102, 

Richter: history of Missions in India). The S. P. C. 
K. appointed the Rev. Clarke Keirnander’s 
mission in Calcutta in 1789, but he left that 
position in 1791 and became a chaplain in the 
East India Company’s service. William Carey 
landed in Calcutta in November 1793, and 
established his headquarters at the Danish 
settlement at Serampore, a few miles north of 
Calcutta. In 1801, Lord Wellesley made him 
Master and Professor of Bengali, Marathi and 
Sanskrit, at the newly established college in 
Calcutta for training candidates for Government 
services. Thus, Carey’s activities were extended 
to Calcutta. The Serampore trio, viz., Carey, 
Marshman and Ward were carrying on a vigorous 
crusade, pouring coarse and scurrilous invectives 
against both Hinduism and Islam. When a 
Mission tract in w Hazrat Mohammed was called 



an imposter had been brought to his notice, Lord 
Minto wrote to the Chairman of the East India 
Company in 1807 to say how the publications of 
the Serampore Press had the effect not to convert 
but to alienate the adherents of Hinduism and 
Islam. He said “pray read especially the 
miserable stuff addressed to the Hindus in 

which.without proof or argument of any kind 

pages are filled with hell fire denounced against 

the whole race of men, etc.” (Parekh 

Christian Proselytism in India, page 126). 

19. The Church of England prevailed upon the 
East India Company to appoint chaplains, and 
ardent evangelistic like Henry Martyn were 
brought to India. The S. P. C. K. made financial 
grants to the German Missionaries in South 
India. In 1813, there was held in the Parliament 
the famous debate on the subject of sending out 
Missionaries to India. Mr. Charles Marsh, a 
retired Barrister from Madras, opposed the 
measure in a vehement speech which ended with 
the preroration: “What will have been gained to 
ourselves by giving them Calvinism and 
fermented liquors; and whether predestination 
and gin would be a compensation to the natives 
of India for the changes which will overwhelm 
their habits, morals and religion” (page 36, 

Volume II, Life and Times of Carey, Marshman, 
Ward by J. C. Marshman, 1859). In 1814, the C. 
M. S. sent two clergymen to South India, and in 
1816 two others to Bengal as regular 
Missionaries. In 1820 the Bishop’s College in 
Calcutta was established “for instructing native 
and other Christian youth in the doctrine of the 
Church”. - With the arrival of Alexander Duff, the 
Scottish Missionary, 1830, a fresh epoch began in 
the history of the Protestant Missions. 

20. Duff was confronted with the same position in 

Bengal that faced De Nobili at Madura two 
centuries earlier. The situation which the 
Missionaries had to face in the middle of the last 
century is well described by Captain Cunningham 
in the History of the Sikhs (1849) in these words: 
“They cannot promise aught which their hearers 
were not sure of before.the Pandit and the 






Mullah can each oppose dialectics to dialectics, 
morality to morality, and revelation to revelation. 
Our zealous preachers may create sects among 
themselves, they may persevere in their laudable 
resolution of bringing up the orphans of heathen 

parents.but it seems hopeless that they 

should ever Christianise the Indian and 
Mahomedan worlds” (pages 19-20). The Indian 
Christians drawn nearly entirely from the lower 
castes were looked down upon and despised. It 
seemed impossible that they could be the 
evangelists of India. Dr. Duff, therefore, 
conceived the plan of converting the Brahmans 
by means of English education saturated with 
Christian teaching and with the help of the 
English providing them with Government jobs. 

Dr. Duffs example was followed by other 
Missionaries, and high schools and colleges were 
founded during the next fifty years in all parts of 
India with lavish aid from Government. The 
Government despatch of 1854 provided that the 
education imparted in the Government institutions 
should be exclusively secular. Canon Mozley, 
discussing the prospects of Christianity in the 
fifties of the last century, warmly supported the 
neutral attitude of the Government and argued 
that their “so-called Godless education left the 
Indian mind purged desiring to be filled. Several 
witnesses before the Parliamentary Committee of 
1853 affirmed that Government schools were 
doing pioneer work for Christianity” (Mayhew: 
Christianity and Government of India : page 177). 
The underlying policy of the Educational 
Despatch was apparently that the Missionary 
institutions should impart the knowledge of 
Christian religion directly while the Government 
institutions were to do the same indirectly. With 
this object the Mission institutions came to receive 
grants as much as five times of all private 
institutions put together and they got control of 
almost all the secondary schools (ibid page 170). 
In the shaping of Government policy on 
education, there was a tendency to identify the 

interest of Government and Christian Mission. 

the Missions definitely included the education of 
all kinds and grades among their instruments for 
the evangelisation of India (ibid page 160). 





21. With the increase of political power of the 
British in India, the Protestant Missionaries with 
the active support of the British Residents in the 
Native States established churches and Mission 
centres all over India. When the Indian War of 
Independence (called the Mutiny) broke out there 
were about 90 Missionary societies at work in 
India, in addition to the Missions of the Church of 
Rome, and their workers ordained and 
unordained, numbered over 2,600. 

22. Two years after the Mutiny, Lord Palmerstone, 
Prime Minister, could say in public : “It is not only 
our duty but in our own interest to promote the 
diffusion of Christianity as far as possible 
throughout the length and breadth of India” (page 
194: ibid). The Secretary of State Lord Halifax 
appended the statement to it: viz., “Every 
additional Christian is an additional bond of union 
with this country arid an additional source of 
strength to the Empire” (page 194: ibid; and page 
29: Missionary Principles and Practice by 
Speers). In 1876, there was a chorus of official 
praise when Lord Reay (Bombay) introducing to 
the Prince of Wales a Deputation of Indian 
Christians said, referring to the Missionaries, 
“They were doing for India more than all those 
civilians, soldiers, judges and governors whom 
Your Highness has met”. Sir Charles Eliot 
(Bengal) described their work as “an 
unrecognised and unofficial branch of the great 
movement that alone justifies British rule in 
India”. Sir Macworth Young (Punjab) described 
them as “the most potent force in India” (page 
194: Christianity and Government of India by 
Mayhew). During the first half of the nineteenth 
century there were a few converts from 
distinguished and talented families in India. But 

in the latter half or that century there arose 
powerful movements of Arya Samaj, Brahma 
Samaj and Theosophy. Great spiritual 
personalities like Dayanand, Ramkrishna and 
Vivekanana, Madam Blavatsky, Col. Olcott 
appeared on the scene. This religious upheaval 
made all the attempts of the Missionaries among 
the intelligent classes wholly abortive. In the eyes 
of the missionaries, Madam Blavatsky was an 



“arant cheat”; Col. Olcott “a credulous man”; Dr. 

Beasant “a famous defender of materialism. 

who could not be named in the same breath with 
honest students such as MaxMuller and Deusson 
who after profound research have arrived at a 
favourable judgment upon Hinduism”; 
“Vivekanand was known for many years to be 
under the influence of the most adventurous 
Sanyasi”; Ramkrishna Paramhansa whom 
Maxmuller raised to unmerited repute by the 
publication of his biography”. Swami 
(Vivekananda) frequented American hotels, ate 
food prepared by white man, a shoodra appearing 
as the apostle of Hinduism (Richter: pages 382, 
384, 385 and 387). 

23. The growth of the Protestant Church during 
the period of British Raj in India was due mainly to 
the great patronage and support the Church was 
getting from the Government of India. Instances 
of Land grants and financial aid to build 
Churches, missionary centres, hospitals, 
educational institutions etc., are numerous. All 
Cathedrals entrusted to the Bishoprics under the 
Ecclesiastical establishments were built from 
State funds. Not only in cities and towns and in 
military stations in British India, but in almost 
every Indian State we can find big Churches and 
Missionary buildings erected almost entirely with 
Government aid. To protect the Christian 
converts and their inheritance in British India, Act 
XXI of 1850 was passed, as the then prevailing 
customary law stood as an impediment to 
conversion of Hindus to other religions. All the 
concessions given to missions in about 350 major 
Anglican centres need not he mentioned in detail 
in our Report. 

24. In the Residency area of every State there 
stand to this day huge churches and other 
mission buildings for the construction of which 
lands and nearly all funds were contributed by the 
Ruler or Chief of that State at the instance of the 
English Residents or Political Agents. This kind 
of patronage from a non-Christian country for 
evangelism within its territory is unique in the 
history of nations. 




25. The progress of Christianity up to the end of 
the first decade of this century was described by 
Sir Bamfylds Fuller (who like Sir Andrew Fraser 
had been a C. P. Officer before he went to Bengal 
as Governor) in these words: Christianity has 
been offered to classes that have remained 
outside the pale of Hinduism, hill tribes and the 

lower strata of the cooly population.Among 

the higher and better educated classes 

evangelism has been less successful.It is 

surprising that Christianity has not spread more 
rapidly. For a century it has not only been 
preached in the streets but has been taught in 
numerous schools and colleges; it has behind it 
the presage of the ruling race; and yet probably 
there are less than 2Vz, million native Christians in 
India, if we deduct those who owe their 
conversion to Nestorian Missions or to the 
Portuguese (pages 210, 364 Empire of India, 
1913). 

26. The number of Missionary Societies 
considerably increased about the middle of last 
century and they used to hold conferences in 
various centres in India viz. Calcutta in 1855, 
Benaras in 1857, Ootacamund in 1858, Lahore in 
1862, Allahabad in 1872 and Bangalore in 1879. 
During that period there was a tendency on the 
part of all the Missions to focus their activity 
particularly on the aborigines. They achieved 
unexpectedly great success among the Kols as in 
1851 the number was only 31 it rose in 1861 to 
2,400, in 1871 to 20,727 and in 1881 to the large 
figure of 44,024. In view of this success with the 
Kols the Missionaries pressed their work among 
other tribes as they realised that there was a 
movement on the part of the aborigines to raise 
themselves in the social level by adopting Hindu 
manners and customs, which would be taken 
advantage of to gather them into the Christian 
Church and thus “save them from the rapid 
onward march of Hinduism”. (Richter: History of 
Christian Mission pages 214-215). 

27. For the purpose of understanding the 
vigorous and highly intensified Missionary activity 





concentrated in Surguja district after the merger 
of the States in 1947, it is necessary to cast a 
glance at the origin of Missionary enterprise at 
Ranchi, which can be gathered from the History of 
Chhota Nagpur. As far back as 1845 the Deputy 
Commissioner Mr. Hanington invited four German 
Missionaries from Calcutta and their work began 
with some orphan children who had been handed 
over to them during famine. The number of 
converts to Christianity began to swell and the 
Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Mission began to 
extend its activities around Ranchi. The Gossner 
Mission operates in the territory formerly 
comprised in Jashpur, Surguja, Udaipur and 
Raigarh States. It has still its headquarters at 
Ranchi. Later on in 1885 they were joined by the 
Roman Catholic Mission. 

28. Before 1948 the diocese of Ranchi included 
the territory which consisted of eight feudatory 
states, seven in the diocese of Ranchi and one in 
the diocese of Nagpur. Mission work was strictly 
forbidden in all those States. In 1907 however a 
great movement of conversion took place in 
Jashpur State, but for nine years the Missionaries 
could not even erect a shed to live in. By and by 
five Mission stations were erected. Another 
movement of conversions took place in 1935 in 
Udaipur State. Till 1941 no priest or catechist 
was allowed to enter she State. From 1941 to 

1949 the priest was allowed to go from outside 
the State to visit persons dangerously ill and four 
times a year to say mass. But he was prohibited 
from staying more than 48 hours in the State. 

With the integration and merger of the States in 
1948 and the promulgation of the Constitution in 

1950 full freedom was conceded to the 
Missionary activities. The diocese of Raigarh and 
Ambikapur was erected on the 13th of December, 

1951 by being cut off from the diocese now Arch- 
Diocese of Ranchi. The diocese still forms part of 
the Ranchi Mission (1954 Catholic Directory page 
264). 

29. The work of these Missions was much 
facilitated by the economic and social problems 
which arose as a result of the permanent 



settlement made by Lord Cornwallis in 1793. As 
stated b E. De Meulder S. J. the Christian Mission 
could provide the aborigines with schools, 
colleges, hostels, hospitals and co-operatives of 
various sorts, but they could not give them lands, 
“for these belonged to the foreign sponsored 
permanent settlement of Rajahs and Jamindars or 
to the ‘Laissez faire’, ‘liberal’, zamindari regime 
inaugurated by Lord Cornwallis whose fatal 
signature meant the death of the ancient village 
republics” (page 1 Tribal India Speaks by E. De 
Meulder S. J.). Up to that time the custom was to 
regard the aboriginal as owner of the land in the 
forest, which he reclaimed it and the Zamindars 
were only farmers of revenue. The cultivators 
had to render certain feudal services in return for 
the lands which they held. 

30. In fact most of the Zamindars and Rajahs 
were tax collectors, never owners of the land, in 
the previous regimes, but after the permanent 
Settlement they claimed ownership in about the 
same way that the ancestors of British 
Landlordism had done at the time of the 
Reformation in England. (Page 63 Tribal India 
Speaks). The disputes between them and the 
Zamindars arose when the number of the 
aborigines embraced Christianity. In introducing 
the Bhuinhari Bill in the Bengal Council on 
November 16, 1868 Mr. M. H. Dampier, I.C.S. 
quoted the following remarks of Col. Dalton: 

“...the Kols who embraced 
Christianity imbibed more 
independent notions, and in several 
instances successfully asserted 
their rights. From this the belief 
unfortunately spread through the 
district that when the Kols go to the 
Court as Christians they are more 
uniformly successful than those 
who have not changed their 
religion. It was stated in the report 
on the Census of India 1911 
Volume V., page 220: “Another 
attraction is the hope of obtaining 
assistance from the missionaries in 



their difficulties and protection 
against the coercion of the 

landlords.it must not be 

imagined that the Christian 
Missionaries held out such offers as 
inducement to the aboriginals to 
enroll themselves in the Christian 
ranks but the knowledge that the 
Missionaries do not regard their 
duties as confined to cure souls but 
also see to the welfare of their flock 
and the agrarian legislation which is 
the Magna Charta of the aboriginal 
was largely due to the influence of 
the Missionaries”. (Legend of the 
Kols by S. Haidar pages 8-9). 

In the Settlement Report of 1901-10 Mr. John 
Reid remarked that the aboriginal converts were 
backed by the moral support and some times by 
the financial support of the European Missionaries 
(page 16 ibid). 

31. As said by Lord Northbrook in his preface to 
Chhota Nagpur by Bradley Birt, the aboriginal 
tribes of India afforded a promising field for the 
Missions; and accordingly, the Belgian Jesuit 
Mission entered the field in 1885 and has since 
then been collecting a large following. The 
Catholic Jesuit Missionaries also tried to exploit 
the agrarian grievances of the aboriginals and as 
is evident from the Commissioner’s report to 
Government in 1890 wherein he stated that Mr. 
Renny, the Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi 
“condemns the action of the Jesuit priests in very 
strong language, charging them with encouraging 
the discontent and laying at their doors the 
responsibility for disturbances which might have 
led to serious consequences” (page 18: Legend 
of the Kols). It is well-known that in 1895 there 
was an uprising of aboriginals led by a German 
Mission convert by name Birsa who styled himself 
as the brother of Jesus, and it had to be 
suppressed with military aid. 

32. There was a similar rebellion in 1910 in the 
Bastar State which was attributed to the activity of 




a Missionary by name Mr. Ward. In the report, 
dated the 12th July 1910, the officer in charge of 
the expeditionary force in Bastar State stated that 
Mr. Ward was the most dangerous man in the 
State. Mr. Ward was transferred to some place 
outside Bastar, but even from there be wrote 
secret letters to the Christians in Bastar 
instigating them to agitate for his retransfer to 
Bastar and in a search of the houses of certain 
Christians “treasonable and seditious 
correspondence was found”. Mr. J. May, Diwan 
of the State, wrote to the Mission authorities at 
Raipur to say that on enquiry he was satisfied that 
he and the Christians were instrumental in 
causing great deal of disloyalty and discontent. 

Mr. Ward subsequently was sent back to 
America. 

33. In 1936-37, there was an unauthorised 
attempt made by the Jesuit Missionaries to enter 
into the Udaipur State for Missionary enterprise. 

It was found on enquiry by the Agent to the 
Governor-General that they used their station at 
Tapkara outside Udaipur State which was a 
forbidden area for proselytising the subjects of 
Udaipur, by making loans to people to attract 
converts and opening Mission schools in Udaipur 
State without permission and the abstraction of 
120 boys and girls from Udaipur for education in 
the Mission centre at Tapkara, and the 
Government of India warned the Jesuit Mission 
that any further development of Missionary 
enterprise in the Udaipur State should be 
avoided. The Mission was also asked to maintain 
a register showing in the case of each new 
convert, his name, his father’s name and other 
particulars including any kind of material benefit 
given to the converts at the time of their 
conversion (Col. Meek’s Report). 

34. In 1948, Rev. Lakra, the head of the Lutheran 
Mission at Ranchi, attended the Conference of 
the World Council of Churches held at 
Amsterdam. Mr. Dulles from America was also 
present there. As a result of the money received 
from the United Lutheran Church in America 
amounting to 8,000 dollars and Rs. 90,000 in 



1953 there were conversions in the Surguja 
district on a mass scale ( Gharbandhu, November 

1952, page 13, and Gharbandhu, November 

1953, pages 15 and 16). The Mission also 
obtained from America Rs. 67,500 to make good 
the deficit in its expenditure ( Gharbandhu, 
December 1953, pages 4 to 7). It is clear that in 
the keen competition that arose between the 
various Missions it was found necessary to 
advance Rs. 30 to some of the converts as an 
inducement to change their religion. 

(Gharbandhu , December 1952, pages 2 to 5). In 

1954, the Lutheran National Missionary Society 
requested for a grant of a large amount for 
engaging the services of the Uraon personnel 
needed for mass conversion work and through 
the good offices of Dr. F. A. Schiotz, Chairman of 
the Luther an World Federation Commission of 
World Missions, and Dr. C. W. Oberdorfer, the 
Federation President of India, they secured a 
grant of 1,500 dollars on the basis of ‘Partnership 
in Obedience’. (The National Missionary 
Intelligencer, April 1954, page 5). There was 
practically an invasion in the Surguja State of 
Missionary enterprise backed by substantial 
finance and personnel with the result that there 
were more than 5,000 conversions. 

35. At this stage it may be necessary to see how 
the Missionaries penetrated into the Eastern 
States of Madhya Pradesh. In 1893, Sir Andrew 
Fraser who was then Commissioner of 
Chhattisgarh gave authority without reference to 
the local Government for acquisition of land for 
Mission purposes in the Bastar State when it was 
under the Government management. The 
developments which occurred thereon have 
already been stated above. 

36. In 1894 an application made by the 
Missionaries for the acquisitions of land in the 
Kawardha State was rejected by the Local 
Government on the principal that when a State is 
under the administration of the Government the 
alienation of land for Mission purposes should be 
refused in view of the fiduciary position of the 
Government. Towards the beginning of the 10th 



century the German Lutheran Mission opened two 
stations in the Gangpur State without the 
permission of the Ruler and without reference to 
the Local Government. Inspite of the Chiefs 
protest the political authority did not take any 
action and one of the Missionaries openly 
preached disobedience to the Chiefs orders in 
the matter of begar, although rendering of such 
services was due from the rent-free holders only. 
The Missionaries generally made promises to the 
ryots that they would secure their freedom from 
various petty demands from the Darbar. As this 
introduced the principle of insubordination one 
Missionary was removed from the State under the 
orders of the Commissioner of Chhota Nagpur 
who acted then as Political Officer. Later a 
European Diwan found that the Christians were 
getting quite out of hand and he dealt firmly with 
the position. He formed the opinion that the 
majority of the people who joined the Missions did 
so in the expectation of some material advantage 
and not for any spiritual benefit. 

37. About the same time the Roman Catholic 
Mission also entered Jashpur. How the rulers of 
the State were treated by the Government is clear 
from the letter dated 10th June 1923 from the 
Roman Catholic Arch Bishop of Calcutta to the 
Political Agent at Raipur, in which occurs the 
following sentence:- 

“In Gangpur the Rajah-under 
pressure of the Government of 
Bengal, within whose Jurisdiction 
Gangpur then was -gave me a 
perpetual lease at the usual rent, of 
an extensive plot of Taur land at 
Kesaramal in 1907; and since then 
the Chief quite willingly this time 
has granted me leases of two more 
plots, one at Hamirpur and one at 
Gaibera. In Jashpur so far we have 
had only verbal grants.” 

The Arch Bishop desired the Political Agent to 
give him a set of perpetual leases but he was 
disappointed. The circumstances in which the 



Rajah of Jashpur came to be deposed are highly 
significant, to show the influence which the 
Missionaries exercised on the Government of the 
day. In 1906 the German Lutheran Mission 
applied for the issue of a license to permit entry of 
Indian preachers into this State. The Rajah was 
reluctant to grant the permission for the entry of 
the preachers but was prevailed upon by the 
Political Agent, Mr. Laurie to withdraw his 
opposition. Mr. Brett the new Political Agent 
found that about 30,000 people and 15,000 were 
claimed, respectively, by the Roman Catholics 
and the Lutheran Mission as enquirers and they 
were all of the Uraon tribe. He reported to 
Government that the Chief had accepted the 
agreement mentioned above under pressure from 
the Political Agent, but the Central Provinces 
Government held that the Chief could not be 
given general permission to forbid all Missionaries 
and preachers from entering the State. But at the 
same time it warned the Missionary Societies that 
they could not expect any support from 
Government against the Chief if their preachers 
encourage the subjects to resist his lawful 
demands. But on account of continuous conflict 
between the Chief and the Missionaries the 
Political Agent, Mr. Blakesley made a thorough 
enquiry and submitted a full report to the Local 
Government in 1913. He pointed out that the 
movement towards Christianity in the Jashpur 
State was in no sense a religious one, and that 
the Missionaries had acquired a considerable 
hold on the people by means of loans. He also 
showed that under the guise of religious 
proselytism political propaganda had been spread 
throughout the State. His recommendation was 
that the Chief should be permitted to exclude the 
Jesuit Missionaries and their catechists but the 
Government declined to accept his 
recommendations. Mr. Blakesley’s statement as 
to the nature of the religious proselytism was later 
amply borne out by an admission made by the 
Arch Bishop of Calcutta to Mr. Napier, the 
Commissioner of Chhattisgarh in 1912. The Arch 
Bishop said to Mr. Napier, that putting aside all 
cant he did not suppose that the majority of the 
aboriginal Christians in the State had much 
feeling either way in the matter of religion and that 



they embraced Christianity in the hope that 
material benefit would result to themselves. The 
trouble arose in 1922 in Jashpur when a Society 
by name ‘the Unity Samaj’ came to be formed by 
the Lutherans of Ranchi, and there was a report 
of a dangerous movement amongst Missions’ 
preachers in the State. The Roman Catholic Arch 
Bishop of Calcutta, wrote to the Political Agent 
sending an account by one of his priests that 
Lutheran preachers had been fomenting trouble 
that would lead to a rebellion which in fact did 
ensue and resulted in the deposition of the Rajah 
of Jashpur. 

It was to avoid such trouble that the Conversion 
Act 1936 came to be enacted by the Raigarh 
Darbar. 

38. Let us now turn to the steps taken by 
Government to afford protection to the 
aborigines. The Government of India Act of 1870 
conferred upon the Governor-General in Council 
the power to approve and sanction laws and 
regulations made by local Government for the 
administration of certain special areas to which 
previously the Secretary of State in Council had 
applied the Act. In 1874 the Indian Legislature 
passed the scheduled Districts Act XIV of 1874 
whereby the Local Government was empowered 
to declare in respect of the tracts specified in the 
Act what enactments were or were not in force 
therein. It was in pursuance of this that the 
Central Provinces Government passed the Land 
Alienation Act in 1916. The Government of India 
Act of 1919 under section 52-A (2) empowered 
the Governor-General in Council to declare the 
territories occupied by the aborigines to be a 
backward tract. The Statutory Commission of 
1928 grouped the backward tracts into two large 
categories one as wholly excluded areas and the 
other as partially excluded areas. It was found 
that the aboriginal people such as the Gonds had 
taken part in political movements, viz., non-co- 
operation movement of 1920-21, the Nagpur Flag 
Satyagarh of 1923 and the Forest Satyagraha of 
1930. (Page 49 the Aboriginal Problem in the 
Balaghat District). In the annual report intended 



for submission to the British Parliament the 
aspect of forest Satyagraha, was particularly 
stressed to show that the violation of the Forest 
Laws enabled the agitators to achieve a 
substantial measure of success in fostering unrest 
among the tribes. (India in 1930-31 page 554). 
When the proposals of the Statutory Commission 
came up before the Parliament Col. Wedgwood 
said that he had received “An infinity of letters 
from India”, urging that the tribes should be 
allowed to be looked after by the Indians but in 
his opinion the educated Indians wanted “to get 
them in as cheap labour”. Adverting to the African 
parallel he expressed his conviction that the best 
hope for backward tribes everywhere lay in the 
Christian Missionaries. (Ghurye-The Aborigines 
page 134). It is well known that a list was finally 
prepared and embodied in the Government of 
India (excluded and partially excluded areas) 
Order 1936 in accordance with sections 91 and 
92 of the Government of India Act of 1935. The 
distinction between the two was that the Governor 
was required to exercise his functions in regard to 
the excluded areas in his own discretion and in 
regard to the partially excluded areas he was to 
seek the advice of the Ministers. 

39. As a result of the Statutory exclusion of these 
tribes they had been treated as if they were the 
close preserve for Missionary enterprise. 
Reviewing the problem as a whole the real inroad 
on tribal solidarity was made by the introduction of 
the British rule which destroyed the authority of 
the tribal elders, and their traditional panchayat 
systems. Even Dr. Hutton who contributed 
Chapter XII to O’Malley’s Modern India and the 
West stated that the establishment of the British 
Rule in India, far from being of immediate benefit 
to the primitive tribes did most of them much more 
harm than good. (Page 173 Ghurye the 
Aborigines). The Forest Conservancy Laws, the 
excise Policy and laws, tyranny of petty officers, 
forced labour and rapacious money-lender have 
all contributed to the disruption of the tribal 
solidarity, and that has given an opportunity for 
the enterprise of the Missionaries. 



40. Dr. Elwin wrote in 1944 bringing into 
prominence the evil effects of excluding the tribal 
areas from the general administration of the 
country and pointing out that in practice all it 
appeared to have achieved had been to give 
encouragement to proselytising Missions for 
exploitation of these people so remote from the 
scrutiny of public opinion. Speaking about the 
Mandla district he says: 

“In Mandla the situation has grown 
serious for here the Fathers of the 
Apostolic prefecture Jabalpur are 
proselytising on an unprecedented 
scale and on the method that would 
have been considered disgraceful 
in the middle ages.” 

Further he says: 

“The Missionaries usurp many of 
the functions of Government 
officials, try to interfere in the work 
of the courts and business of the 
local officials and give the Gonds 
the impression that they are the real 
Sirkar and the Fathers finally have 
an extensive money-lending 
business and this is one of the most 
effective means of bringing 
aboriginals under their control and 
forcing them into the Church.” 

41. Reviewing the whole question in the light of its 
history one is driven to the conclusion that they 
established a State within the State. 

JHARKHAND 

42. The separatist tendency that has gripped the 
mind of the aboriginals under the influence of the 
Lutheran and Roman Catholic Missions is entirely 
due to the consistent policy pursued by the British 
Government and the Missionaries. The final 
segregation of the aborigines in the Census of 
1931 from the main body of the Hindus 



considered along with the recommendations of 
the Simon Commission which were incorporated 
in the Government of India Act, 1935, apparently 
set the stage for the demand of a separate State 
of Jharkhand on the lines of Pakistan. The stages 
by which it culminated in the demand for 
Jharkhand will be- clear from what follows. 

43. In 1941, Shri M. D. Tigga wrote and published 
a book entitled Chhota Nagpur Ker Putri (the 
daughter of Chhota Nagpur). It was printed in the 
Gossner Evangelical Lutheran Press, Ranchi. At 
page 19 of that book it is found: 

""AmoXdmgr _ZH{$ amA'ZjoVH$ 

Am;a AmoW©H$ [VZH{$X{IH{$ 

1898 H{$ gmb J EH$ g A m IS>m A 
{bH$ CH$a ewe$ Zm_ N>m{Q>m 
ZmJ[wa o^fMZ Agm{og'{eZ ah{. ] 

T>V{ ]T>V{ 1915 gmb J D$ g A m 
Hw$N> _0]yV A B© J{bl, Am;a D 
$H$a Zm_ N>m{Q>m ZmJ[wa 
CYZVr g_mO alb J{bm. A§V_m 
A A r Am{h{ g A m 1938 gmb J 
AmoXdmgr _hmg A m H{ $ H{ $am 
Zm_ g{ Mmby ah{." 

(English translation.) 

“Looking to the political and 
economic backwardness of the 
Adivasis, a Sabha was formed in 
the year 1898. Its original name 
was Chhota Nagpur Christian 
Association. As it grew, it became 
somewhat strong in 1915 and its 
name became Chhota Nagpur 
Unnati Samaj. The same Sabha 
since 1938 is called Adivasi 
Mahasabha.” 

44. In the Survey and Settlement Report, Ranchi, 
1927-35, there is a reference to political 
movement started by one Tana Bhagat and this 
Unnati Samaj about the year 1915. The Tana 



Bhagat movement was in its origin purely 
religious and confined mainly to the Uraons aimed 
at substituting Hinduized religious doctrines for 
the old animistic beliefs of the people. The Unnati 
Samaj was a movement organised by Lutheran 
Christians amongst the Mundas directed towards 
the moral and social improvement of people. 
These two movements were originally separate 
and nonpolitical but about the year 1921 -22 under 
the influence of the non-co-operation movement 
they merged into one and developed an attitude 
which was antagonistic to landlord and distrustful 
of Government. As the movement gathered 
force, the Police in 1922 had to take strong action 
against Tana Bhagat when Tana Bhagat’s 
Panchayat attempted to fine a raiyat. Thereafter 
there was the first session of the Adiwasi Sabha 
Conference on 22nd January 1939 at Ranchi, 
which was presided over by Shri Jaipalsingh, M. 

P. (page 33 Adiwasi Mahasabha Visheshank 
March 1935r). In the presidential address he said 
as follows:- 

“The Adiwasis are all now one in 
their struggle for freedom from the 
tyranny of mere numbers. We offer 
a united front, an amazing fact in 
the annals of the aborigines. All the 
Missionary institutions working here 
are with us, another remarkable 
achievement. Even the Bengalis 
are crying for separation, the 
Europeans and Anglo-Indians are 
openly showing us their 
sympathy.” (p. 34, ibid). 

He proceeded further to say, “On no account 
must our educational facilities be reduced, but on 
the contrary the grants to the Missionary Societies 
should be augmented. The Missionaries are 
devoting their lives to our uplift and 

education.we must ask the Governor 

to utilize section 80 so that he may. 

include in the schedule such additional amount, if 
any, not exceeding the amount of the rejected 
demand.” (p. 36, ibid). 






The resolution which was adopted by the 
Conference was as follows: - 

“It is essential that these aboriginal 
districts forming as they do compact 
area most intimately bound together 
as between themselves by racial, 
linguistic, cultural, historical and 
agrarian bonds should be 
constituted into a separate 
administrative unit, for the sake of 
furthering the racial, economic, 
educational, cultural and political 
interest of the backward people of 
this area (whose distinctive unity 
and whose right to separation from 
Bihar has in a way been admitted 
and recognised by the Simon 
Commission and the framers of the 
Government of India Act, 1935), by 
constituting these tracts into so- 
called excluded area and that His 
Excellency the Governor of Bihar, 
the Viceroy and Governor-General 
of India and the Rt. Hon. the 
Secretary of State for India be 
implored to convey to His Majesty’s 
Government (with 
recommendations) the earnest 
desire of the Adiwasi Sabha to 
constitute Chhota Nagpur and 

Santhal Parganas.into a 

separate Governor’s romance at 
the earliest possible date and in a 
case before the federation of India 
is instituted.” (p. 42, ibid). 

45. The Adiwasi Mahasabha was superseded by 
the Jharkhand Party as announced by Jaipalsingh 
at the annual session of the Sabha of 1950 at 
Jamshedpur with the membership being open to 
non-adiwasi as well. (Abua Jharkhand Jaipalsingh 
Visheshank, 16 January 1955, p. 15.) 

46. There was a controversy in the newspapers 
between Shri Jaipalsingh and Professor Hayward 
his Secretary as regards the person who had 




received the amount of Rs. 50,000 from the 
Muslim League. (Jharkhand News, dated Ranchi, 
the 6th March 1949.) 

47. This attempt of the Adiwasis initiated by the 
Christian section thereof is a feature which is 
common to the developments in Burma, Assam 
and Indo-China among the Karens, Nagas and 
Amboynes. This is attributed to the spirit of 
religions nationalism awakened among the 
converted Christians as among the followers of 
other religions. But the idea of change of religion 
as bringing about change of nationality appears to 
have originated in the Missionary circles, as one 
gathers from the following passage regarding the 
Karens of Burma:- 

“Before the coming of the 
Missionaries the Karens were a 
subordinate Hill Tribe, animist by 
faith. The Missionaries gave them 
education and through the 
translation of the Bible a written 
language. This remarkable 
achievement, the giving of a 
nationality to a people, has resulted 
in one embarrassment. 

Missionaries are held responsible 
for slowing up the Burmanization of 

the Karens.Karens have 

to-day a strong national society 
which sent a delegation to London 
to plead for a Karen nation.”. (Page 
138 Rethinking Missions, 1932.) 

48. (Thus while the Census officer isolates certain 
sections of the people from the main bodies, the 
Missionaries by converting them give them a 
separate nationality so that they may demand a 
separate State for themselves.) 

49. The attitude of the Catholics was professedly 
against the agitation for Jharkhand or any 
separatist movement. Rameshwar Prasad 
Sharma (Jashpur 21) stated that they were 
secretly helping the movement. His statement 




derives strong support from the issue of 
Nishkalank (the official organ of the Catholics) of 
October 1947. On the front page of it, there is the 
picture of Madonna with the child and facing her 
is the map of Chhota-Nagpur. At page 148, there 
is given the explanation of the picture in these 
words:- 


”"am§Mr Y_©am§V H$] N>m 
{Q>m ZmJfwa H$s amZr, _mVm 
_ar'm H{$ hmW J A[©U oH$'m 
Om'Jm? 

"h{ N>m{Q>m ZmJ[wa H$s amZr, 
V{ar amW©Zm H{$ Umam V{a 

V 

{ [wl, IrnV Z{ g_mam{h g{ h_ma 
{ X{e J ad{e oH$'m hj Am;a Cg 
{ oZdmg-nWmZ ]Zm'm hj.' 

"_hm [wZamJ_Z H$s H§w$dmar, 
Bgr KS>r, O] BVZ{ PyR>{ Z]r 
N>m{Q>m ZmJ[wa H$m{ hab{Z 
{ H$s M{iQ>m H$a ah{ h0, A[Z 
{ amA' _l g_mam{h g{ ad{e H$a 
Am;aA[Z{ [mgAmjaA[Z{ [wl H 
{$ [mg g§dgmaml, bwWaZml, 
A§JobH$Zml Am;a g] Xygaml H$m 
{ ]wbm'" 


(English translation) 

When will the Ranchi Holy Land be dedicated to 
the Mother Maria? 

“Oh, the Queen of Chhota Nagpur, by your grace 
Christ-king entered this land with splendour and 
established his residence here. Oh, thou Virgin of 
the Resurrection, at this moment, when false 
prophets are trying to appropriate Chhota Nagpur, 
enter thy kingdom with triumph and invite the 
Hindus (unconverted) Lutherans, Anglicans and 
others to be with you and your son.” 


CHAPTER lll.-CHRISTIAN POST-WAR WORLD 

POLICY 



The intensified activity of the Christian Missions in 
India is an integral part of the post-war Christian 
world policy and as such it must be viewed in the 
light of the world situation in order to grasp its full 
significance in India. 

2. It is significant that the first and second world 
wars were mainly fought between Christian 
countries. They were not wars amongst followers 
of different religions. It was felt that the 
establishment and maintenance of peace was no 
more a political issue than a religious one. During 
the first World War as a whole the Churches 
actively upheld the claims of their respective 
nations. They were used as foci of propaganda 
for the aims and purposes of each nation. 
Towards the end of the second World War it 
came to be thought that there was a direct threat 
to the survival of Christianity itself. (Social 
Problems, Appleton Century Co. New York, page 
351). 

3. As stated in the World Christian Hand Book 
1952, pages 34 and 35, European civilization until 
recently was considered to be Christian but a 
great change came over European life and great 
apprehensions regarding the Christian substance 
of society were felt. European churches were, 
therefore, concerned about the recovery of the 
Gospel, the renewal of Christian faith, the revival 
of the Church and the re-Evangelization and re- 
Christianisation of European life. Many a 
European Churchman spoke of Europe as 
Mission field. The common life of the average 
Englishman seemed to be little influenced by the 
Christian faith (P. 38.) 

4. In 1941 during the World War II the 
“Commission of the Churches on International 
Friendship and Social Responsibility” was set up 
in Britain. In 1942 the Commission issued a 
document on Christian Church and world order 
viewed from Christian point of view such as 
common moral purpose, international political 
framework, economic justice, disarmament and 
the rights of the minority and colonial people. 



Similarly in U. S. A. the Federal Council of 
Churches (which had been created in 1908) 
appointed in 1941, a special Commission on a 
just and Durable Peace under the chairmanship 
of Mr. John Foster Dulles. In July 1943 that 
Commission convened a Round Table 
Conference which issued a Christian message on 
“World-Order” in which the political propositions 
previously formulated by the United States 
Commission as the 6 pillars of peace were 
unanimously welcomed and in the section 
addressed to the Church the Round Table 
stressed the opportunity for evangelism on a 
worldwide basis. 

5. In the closing period of the war Church 
discussions of world order were increasingly 
directed to consideration of proposals for a new 
international organisation to meet the urgent 
needs of the post-war world. The formulation of 
the Dumbarton Oak’s proposals in 1944 gave 
great impetus to such discussions. 

6. The U. S. Commission on a just and Uurable 
Peace convened in Cleveland, Ohio, in January 
1945 set up a National Study Conference which 
made nine recommendations for improvement of 
Dumbarton Oak’s proposals. These 
recommendations received wide support among 
the American Churches and were given careful 
consideration in Government circles. Similarly, 
British Council of Churches formulated in 1945 its 
recommendations for submission to the British 
Government. These representations were among 
the creative influences brought to bear on the 
SanFrancisco Conference of the United Nations 
held in April-June, 1945. The religious 
spokesman at the above conference has been 
credited with the decision to include within the 
Charter provision for a Commission on Human 
Rights. 

7. At another meeting of the Commission on a 
Just and Durable Peace held in November 1945, 

it laid stress on the development of Christian unity 
amongst various Churches on a worldwide basis 
with a view to bring more effective influence to 



bear on international affairs. The Commission 
announced: 

“Now with war ended, world-wide 
organisation of the Christian Church 
can be developed so as to co¬ 
ordinate, as to substance and 
timing, the Christian effort (for world- 

order) in many lands. The 

Christian forces of the world, 
though still a minority, must on that 
very account quickly become a well 
organised and militant 
minority.” (World Christian Hand- 
Book, 1952, p. 57.) 

8. In August, 1946 an International Conference of 
Church leaders was convened by the 
Commission on a Just and Durable Peace at the 
instance of the Interim Committee of the 
International Missionary Council. The Conference 
issued a draft charter for a Permanent joint 
agency of the International Missionary Council 
and World Council of Churches to be called “The 
Commission of the Churches on International 
Affairs.” The Director of that Commission. Dr. O. 
Frederick Nolde, kept in close touch with the 
Commission on Human Rights (of the U. N. O.) 
and the outcome was the declaration on religious 
liberty adopted by the World Council of Churches 
and the International Missionary Council. 

9. The first full meeting of the committee of I. M. 

C. was held at Whitby in 1947. It set out its 
primary duty to be “the active encouragement of 
an expectant evangelism”, and dwelt in particular 
on the crucial necessity of full freedom of religion, 
which includes both liberty of worship and the 
right to educate and persuade. It discussed two 
papers, viz., “Christian Witness in a Revolutionary 
World” and “Partners in Obedience” (P. 94, W.C. 
H.B. 1952). In the following year the I. M. C. met 
again at Oegstgeest in Netherland. It reported on 
the close Liaison maintained with the World 
Dominion Press and considered an important 
paper on the subject of “Communist policy and 
the Missionary Movement”. It resolved to extend 




and continue the “Orphaned Mission Fund” for 
another five years. (In the decade 1939-1949 a 
total of 83,00,000 dollars had been contributed to 
the Lutheran World Federation.) It also decided to 
fix for the L M. C. fund (1951 -2,00,000 dollar; 
1952-1,55,000 dollars ; 1953-1,75,000 dollars. 

The Missionary Society of Germany, Finland and 
others were the beneficiaries of this fund). (P. 95 
ibid.) 

10. Although Europe itself required “re- 
Evangelisation and re-Christianisation” because 
of the spread of the Gospel of Communism 
according to Marx, the W. C. C. and I. M. C. 
turned their attention to India and other colonial 
countries. They were encouraged by the 
promulgation of our Constitution which set up a 
secular State with liberty to propagate any religion 
in the country. They noted that the Churches in 
India were growing steadily in number partly by 
natural increase, partly from evangelisation and 
that the mass or community movements to 
Christianity did not die out though slowed down, 
but that the spiritual life of the congregation was 
low and that the Indian Church lacked economic 
maturity. Though India has the most highly 
organised National Christian Council it had to be 
largely paid for from abroad. Even the 
institutional activities of Missions, viz., schools, 
colleges and hospitals were dependant upon 
foreign support. Even the ordinary 
congregational life and pastoral duty still required 
some form of foreign aid. (P. 13.). 

11. Now for all the ills of the world of today 
infested by the demon of Communism Christianity 
professes to offer the mantra of not ‘Christ the 
hope of the Church’ but ‘Christ the hope of the 
world’, particularly the hope of Asia. This is in line- 
with the thought of Sir Andrew Fraser, viz., in the 
elevating and civilizing power of Christianity the 

‘hope of India’ lies.she ought to receive 

of our best (P. 275, Among Rajahs and Ryots, 
Revised Edition, 1912). Accordingly evangelism 

in India came to be accelerated when the 
Constitutional provision of religions freedom 
opened the gates to the missionaries. It was, 




therefore, decided to send evangelistic teams to 
such areas with all the resources for mass 
evangelism through the press, films, radio, etc., 

“to realise the Church as the instrument in God’s 
hand; to face the problem of Communism and 
Secularism; to raise a prophetic voice against 
social, economic and racial in justice. ” (P. 27., 

The Missionary Obligation of the Church 
Wilingen, 1952.) 

12. The new evangelistic movement sprang up for 
the purpose of subjugating the new secular 
utopias, viz., Stalinism and Scientific Humanism 
and also to counter “the Utopian expectations of 
the non-Christian religions”. (Pp. 27-28, Elements 
of Ecumenism.) 

13. It is interesting to notice that out of the four 
main sub-divisions of the Christians, viz., the 
Western Protestants or Occidental Churches, the 
Roman Catholic, the Eastern Orthodox of the 
Byzantine Tradition and the Oriental National 
Churches usually described as the Monophysites, 
only one takes an active and responsible part in 
the ecumenical work and that is the Western 
Protestant Churches and consequently only that 
section impresses its own outlook on all its 
activities (p. 38-39, Elements of Ecumenism). 

This section of the Churches is led by America. 

14. The strength of the American personnel of the 
foreign Missions has increased by 500 since 
1951. The invasion of the Missionary teams was 
in the Surguja district which had been closed to 
the Missions before the integration in 1947 with 
Madhya Pradesh. In August, 1948 its Assembly 
of the World Council of Churches met at 
Amsterdam at which Mr. John Foster Dulles read 
a paper on Christian responsibility in our divided 
world, Rev. J. Lakra of the Gossner Evangelical 
Mission of Ranchi also attended that meeting. In 
the report of that meeting the decision was 
summed up in one sentence, viz., “God has given 
to His people in Jesus Christ a unity which is His 
creation and not our achievement. ” 



15. In 1949 the Eastern Asia Christian 
Conference came to be held under the joint 
auspices of the I. M. C. and the W. C. C. at 
Bangkok in 1949. Its report on “The Church in 
Social and Political Life” declared “the Gospel 
proclaims that God’s sovereignty includes all 
realms of life. Christ sitting at the right hand of 
God reigns, and the Church owes it to the world 
to remind it constantly that it lives under His 
Judgment and grace. It is not the challenge of 
any ideology but the knowledge of the love of 
God in Christ for man, that is, the basis of the 
Church’s social and political concern. In East 
Asia, the majority of people, both in the rural and 
urban areas, live in conditions of abject poverty 
and under oppressive systems that cramp their 
personality; and it is the will of God that the 
Church should witness to His redeeming love 
through an active concern for human freedom 
and justice” (p. 114, The Christian Prospect in 
Eastern Asia, New York 1950-quoted at page 90 
of Christianity and the Asian Revolution). The 
social task of the Church was stated to be to 
claim the whole world for Him who is King and 
lord of all. (P. 90, ibid.) 

16. In the report of the Ecumenical Study 
Conference for East Asia held under the auspices 
of the Study Department W. C. C. at Lucknow, 
India, in 1052, it was declared that Christians 
must be pre-pared to recognise that the changes 
in the structure of society can be effected mainly 
through political action and that, therefore, they 
must be prepared to accept the necessity of 
political action as a means of promoting social 
justice, (p. 31, Christ the Hope of Asia, Madras, 

1953, quoted a; page 91, ibid.). 

17. As the work of the United Nations was 
regarded as of major concern to the Church 
Commission on International Affairs (in view of 
the “fragile fabric of peace” being tinder the threat 
of being torn as under by the cold war produced 
by Soviet tension) the various Christian Churches 
of the world came to emphasise that the Church 
of Christ was ‘World-wide’, ‘subra-national’and 
‘Supra-racial’, and that it involved a deeper 



understanding of the Missionary obligation of the 
Church, viz., evangelism and a closer link 
between the Mission of the Church at home and 
overseas (P. 28, World Christian Hand Book 
1952). Realising this call from God the Church 
membership in North America began to rise 
steadily and with the increased givings for Church 
support American Churches assumed the 
leadership in Overseas Missions. As it was found 
that in the old Mission fields there were now 
Churches touched by the new nationalisms 
independent in temper and organisation and yet 
needing help from other Churches, it was 
emphasised that there should be a new 
understanding of the nature of the Church, its 
unity and call of God to special vocations and the 
need of particular Churches to be rooted in the 
soil and yet supra-national in their witness and 
obedience (P. 29, ibid). In the vigorous campaign 
of proselytization which began in India the 
evangelistic activity had to consider the prospects 
among the Hindu upper and middle classes and 
the lower classes including the forest tribes. As 
regards the upper and middle classes it is 
admitted that Christianity has made no serious 
impact on Hindu learning or the upper aria middle 
classes. But in view of the capacity of Hindu 
culture for absorbing other elements it is thought 
necessary to transmit the Christian faith at its 
points of need as early as possible ‘‘in view of the 
possibility of Communist infiltration from within 
and pressure from without”. (P. 14 ibid 1952.) 

18. The activity accordingly turned to the 
underprivileged classes whose way to life 
abundant is blocked by poverty. These people 
would be incapable of receiving the Christian 
message in their ignorance and degradation until 
they are freed from the bondage and degradation 
in which they are kept by their heathen overlords 
(P. 126, Missions in Rural India, Tambaram 
Report, p. 19, Spontaneous Expansion of the 
Church, p. 112). The Evangelist, therefore, came 
forward with financial help for raising their 
standard of life and gathering them into the 
Church. 



19. As regards non-Christian religions, viz.. 
Hinduism, Budhism and Confucianism, they are 
gaining new lease of life and are challenging 
Christianity by denying its uniqueness by putting 
forward the dogma that all religions lead to the 
same goal. (Pages 213 and 215, 135, 136, 
Christianity and Asian Revolution). 

20. Accordingly, it is the duty of the Universal 
Church to execute the King’s Commission for 
exterminating these religions. In the words of A. 
G. Hogg, the Christian Church without being false 
to its origin cannot help being aggressive. It 
cannot be otherwise because “it is a people 

conscious of a transcendental Mission.It is 

the little flock to which it is the heavenly Father’s 

royal pleasure to give that Kingdom.it holds 

its King’s Commission to make disciples of all the 
matrons.” It is further claimed that evangelism that 
is the proclamation of good news with a view to 
conversion is not a peculiar activity of a new 
Christians but the whole world of the fact that God 
in Christ has entered history to save. The 
missionary obligation of the Church is in short this 
“we must simply take Christ at His word. He told 
us to go and preach and baptise. Every disciple a 
Missionary and no way out.” (Christian Home No. 
30, of 1954, page 9). 

21. Alexander McLeish speaking at the 
Fellowship of Inter-national Missionary Society 
Conference held in June, 1948 said, “recently our 
Indian Christian leaders have seen the vision of 
evangelising India and have issued a call to 
evangelise systematically in the next 10 years the 
600,000 villages of India. The material resources 
are, there, but better still the spiritual resources 
are more than adequate to the completion of the 
evangelistic task. Thus, Whitby strikes the two 
notes needed as we face the Problem of India 
today, viz., the planned evangelism of India’s 
teeming villages and the fullest co-operation of 
Church and Mission which would be involved in 

the carrying of the task to a successful issue”. 1 
This is in accordance wish, what was 
recommended in the report of the Missions in 
rural India in 1930, p. 126 and the idea of the 




conquest of the world by Christianity. (P. 35 
Rethinking Missions). Pamphlets like “The World 
Conquest soon by God’s Kingdom”ere issued by 
the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, New 
York, U. S. A., and the Television Broadcasts in 
America call upon the American Democracy to 
send ‘Invasion Teams’ of Missionaries into all the 
nations of the world and begin to turn the needy 
millions into the Kingdom of God-as the greatest 
Mission crusade in Church history. It came to be 
emphasised that the Church of Christ was “World 
Wide”, “Supra-national” and “Supra-racial”. It was 
essentially one. This preaching had political 
implications of its own. The Christians in a State 
owed double allegiance, on the one hand they 
owed their loyalty to Christ and on the other, to 
the State. Ordinarily, there might be no clash, but 
in case there was a conflict of loyalties between 
Christ and State, the true Christian had 
necessarily to choose obedience to Christ. 
Allegiance to the State is a political and a national 
duty. Allegiance to the Church is a religious and 
spiritual duty. The two have distinct fields no 
doubt. And normally no conflict is to be observed 
between the two. And if political divisions of the 
world were never to be influenced by religions 
there can never be any conflict between the two 
allegiance. But that is a big if. There are even in 
the present-day world many States based on 
religion. And our own country has been split on 
the basis of religion. Such being the case, 
conflict between loyalty to the State and loyalty to 
the Church cannot be ruled out. In India, there is 
an intensive evangelistic drive through press, film, 
radio, in the rural areas. 

22. This evangelistic activity is professedly 
directed against Communism. The world powers 
are at present divided into two groups, the Anglo- 
American Block and the Soviet Block. The former 
have the backing of the Christian Missionaries. 
India is pursuing a policy of its own by non- 
alignment with any of the above two blocks. Both 
the Communists and the Christian Missionaries 
have their eyes on India. The very existence of 
non-Christian religions in India, Burma and 
Islamic countries is regarded as a challenge to 



the uniqueness of Christianity (P. 213, Christianity 
and Asian Revolution). 

23. The idea as stated by Fraser in his book 
“Among Indian Rajahs and Ryots” is that to meet 
the intellectual awakening and the revival of 
national spirit India should receive Christianity as 

p 

its only hope. -Toynbee in his Reith lectures 1952 
stated that the West had invaded the world, 
particularly Asia which adopted Technology and 
Nationalism but not Christianity, and he 
suggested that nationalism Would be dangerous 

unless it was balanced by Christianity. -In the 
Missionary circles it was found that there was 
even among Indian Christians a strong tide of 
national feeling opposed to foreign domination 
which is explained as being only a part of the 
universal national feeling which has been so 
marked a feature of recent years. (Page 31, 
Spontaneous Expansion of the Church). 

24. To overcome this tide of nationalism the 
conversion of the people to Christianity apparently 
offered itself as an effective instrument. As stated 
by Count Keyserling, Christianity was originally a 
religion of the proletariat. It was in opposition to 
the favoured classes from the beginning. 
Wherever, it turns it carries the seeds of 
disruption. (P. 56, Travel Diary of Philosopher). 
Hence the appeal by the Missionary bodies to the 
hungry and under-privileged areas of world (P. 
126, Mission in Rural India; Tambaram Report, P. 
19; Missionary Obligation of the Church, P. 35 
and Spontaneous Expansion of the Church, P., 
112). That it is in this form that the masses are 
approached by the preachers is clear from the 
statement of Arch Bishop of Ambikapur, Rev. 

Nath of Khandwa and letter of Rev. Youngblutt. 

25. As described by Toynbee in the Reith lectures 
1952 a creed also is a tool though of a 
psychological nature. In the conflict between 
Communism and Democracy combined with the 
Church, America is taking the lead as indicated by 
Wendell Wilkie in his ‘One World’. In view of the 
radical shift since 1945 in the International 


balance of power which has affected every 
country in Asia, American Democracy (United 
States) finds itself devoid of any Asian territory. 
She has partly compensated for this by 
establishing military bases on the Pacific fringe of 
Asia from Japan to the Phillipines and by forming 
military alliances with several countries. (P. 22, 
Christianity and Asian Revoluation). In Asia the 
issues of nationalism and colonialism have 
become inextricably involved in conflict between 
the West and the Communist powers. (P. 23, 
ibid). The drive for proselytization in India is an 
attempt to acquire an additional base which of 
course would be psychological. People converted 
to Christianity would he mostly from the outcastes 
or the aboriginals who can be primed with hatred 
against their countrymen, if for no other reason 
than the fact that the latter are ‘idolators’ and that 
the former belong to the Kingdom of God. 

26. In the Census Report of 1891, Volume XI, 

Part I, page 79, there is a reference to the opinion 
of Mr. Baines recorded in the Bombay Census 
Report of 1881 to the effect that the success of 
Christian Missions would he more marked among 
the lower classes than among the rest for two 
reasons; one, the greater receptivity of a member 
of the lower classes and, two, emotional appeals 
which neither his intelligence nor his education 
disposes him to enlarge. As observed by Crozier, 
the fact is that the Christian Missionaries 
indoctrinate into the minds of the people they 
convert the idea that “the essence of religion lies 
in the attitude of the heart and emotions and that 
it is not a matter of intellectual belief at all but a 
matter of faith, a thing not to be argued about or 
proven but to be accepted in trust and lowly 
obedience. Thus, religion brings about a change 
of heart or conversion” (page 227, Civilization and 
Progress) that places the converts entirely under 
the domination of the Missionaries and wipes out 
his individuality. The failure of the Missionary 
appeal to the intelligentsia is entirely due to the 
absence of any intellectual and rational argument 
put forward in support of the dogma propounded 
by them as was observed as far back as 1807 by 
Lord Minto. (Vide Supra, p. 39.) 



27. We can, thus, safely conclude that the aim of 
accelerating the process of proselytization is the 
following 


(1) to resist the progress of national 
unity in the colonial countries after 
their independence. That can be 
gathered, as pointed out in the New 
Statesman and Nation, dated 
November 26th, 1955, from the 
“rival” Russian policy of 
strengthening the nationalism of 
these countries. 

(2) To emphasise the difference in 
the attitude towards the principle of 
coexistence between India and 
America. India desires peaceful co¬ 
existence whereas the policy of the 
World Council of Churches as 
expressed in the report of its 
“Commission on Christian social 
action” is to regard co-existence as 
amounting to mere appeasement 
which it does not favour in view of 
the ‘divisions existing particularly 
between the totalitarian powers and 
‘Free Nations’ with diverse 
economic and political systems. 

The World Council of Churches 
recommend that the correct policy 
should be that of “Peaceful 
competition” with a sincere 
commitment to growing co¬ 
operation”. (1955 Blue Book Annual 
Report of the Evangelical and 
Reformed Church, page 114). Light 
is thrown on this idea of “Peaceful 
competition” in an article which 
describes the present contest as 
“competitive coexistence” (New 
York Times, November 1, 1954 
quoted at p. 4, in Pamphlet “World 
Conquest Soon” by God’s 
kingdom). On the other hand Mr. 
Kaganovitch, made it clear in his 



speech on the anniversary of the 
Russian revolution that coexistence 
meant that the struggle between 
Communism and Democracy was 
to be waged by competition, (the 
New Statesman and Nation, 

November 26, 1955). 

(3) To take advantage of the 
freedom accorded by the 
Constitution of India to the 
propagation of religion, and to 
create a Christian party in the 
Indian democracy on the lines of 
the Muslim League ultimately to 
make out a claim for a separate 
State, or at least to create “militant 
minority” 

In short the situation seems to be that the Papacy 
representing the Catholic Church and the 
American Democracy are united in their frantic 
drive for gathering proselytes to Christianity to 
combat Communism: the former to extend its 
religions empire and the latter to obtain world 
leadership. 


Footnotes: 

iPamphlet. 

2Page 275, 3rd Edition (1912). 
2Pages 67, 68, 70 and 95. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 






PART III 


CHAPTER I. - RELIGIOUS LIBERTY IN OTHER 
COUNTRIES 

The joint Committee appointed by the Federal 
Council of Churches of Christ in America and the 
Foreign Missions Conference of North America in 
the year 1944, in their “Statement on Religious 
Liberty”, have defined the term as given below:- 

“Religious Liberty shall be 
interpreted to include freedom to 
worship according to conscience 
and to bring up children in the faith 
of their parents; freedom for the 
individual to change his religion; 
freedom to preach, educate, publish 
and carry on missionary activities; 
and freedom to organise with 
others, and to acquire and hold 
property, for these purposes”. 

(Religious Liberty: Bates, page 309.) 

2. Religious Liberty, as defined above, has been 
in existence in India from times immemorial. India 
is a land of many religions-Hinduism, majority 
religion, is itself a co-ordinated combination of 
various beliefs. It has survived through ages by its 
liberal and receptive attitude towards other faiths. 
There have undoubtedly been controversies in 
India of a religious and philosophical nature but 
there has been perfect freedom of Conscience. 
Coercion and religious persecution have been 
unknown in Hindu society. The alleged 
persecution of the Budhists has been held to be a 
myth on critical research. [Budhist India by Rhys 
Davids, p. 211 (Sushil Gupta, Calcutta).] 

The all-embracing polytheism of the early Hindus 
afforded ample scope for different beliefs to exist 
side by side without trying to oust one another. 
Both Jainism and Budhism were deviations from 
some aspects of early Aryan faith. “Their rise and 
progress, the standardisation of Jainism as a 



minor sect of ascetic tendencies; the extension, 
the export, the decline of Budhism within a 

Society of Hinduism,.all were essentially 

peaceful. The changes came by persuasion and 
by slow social pressures or movements, without 
clear conflict of group wills against other groups 
or against individuals”. (Religious Liberty : Bates, 
page 267.) 

Hindu India provided in the person of King Ashok 
the Great, who subsequently became a convert to 
Budhism, a unique instance of goodwill and 
toleration towards other religions. One of his well- 
known inscriptions reads as follows:- 

“King Piyadasi (Ashok) dear to the 
Gods, honours all sects, the 
ascetics (hermits) or those who 
dwell at home, he honours them 
with charity and in other ways. But 
the King, dear to the Gods, 
attributes less importance to this 
charity and these honours than to 
the vow of seeing the reign of 
virtues, which constitutes the 
essential part of them. For all these 
virtues there is a common source, 
modesty of speech. That is to say, 

One must not exalt one’s creed 
discrediting all others, nor must one 
degrade these others Without 
legitimate reasons. One must, on 
the contrary, render to other creeds 
the honour befitting 
them.” (Religious Liberty, pp. 267- 
268: Bates.) 

What a lucid and comprehensive exposition of 
liberty of religion? It is, as it were, “faith in the 
goodness of faith”. Refraining from speaking well 
of one’s own faith and ill of others enables us to 
appreciate in a friendly discussion the truth and 
beauty in the teachings of other groups which 
enriches one’s own belief. Charity and toleration 
are thus developed. Hindu India has maintained 
this spirit of religious toleration. 




3. According to some of the Christian writers, 
intolerance in religion came in the wake of the 
advent of Christianity. Professor Guido de 
Ruggiero in his article on “Religious Liberty”, 
published in the “Encyclopedia of Social 
Sciences”, writes:- 

“The antagonist in the major 
struggle of mankind for religious 
freedom has been Christianity, 
which accentuated the elements of 
intolerance included in its Hebraic 
heritage and supplemented them by 
the introduction of two new and 
potent incentives-the idea of a 
universal mission, a rigid dogma, 
the conception of the Church as an 
indispensable mediator between 
God and man.” (Religious Liberty: 

Bates, p. 132.) 

In exposition of the above statement, Professor 
Raffini writes in his book “Religious Liberty”: 

“When the idea of a single and 
universal God was set, first by the 
Hebrews and then by the 
Christians, against the ancient 
polytheism, there arose a new form 
of religious exclusivism, contrary to 
the old not less in its basis than in 
its effects. The Gods of the other 
peoples were said to be false and 
fallen and religion lost its national 
and public character and became 
on the one side cosmopolitan and 
on the other proper to each single 
individual. From this followed not 
only an inextinguishable spirit of 
proselytism but also the principle 
that he only could be saved who 
worshipped the true God, that is to 
say, the principle of absolute 
intolerance (italics ours). (Religious 
Liberty: Bates, p. 132.) 



4. During the first three hundred years of its 
existence Christianity itself was faced with the 
question of how it could make its way in a non- 
Christian society ruled by the Roman Empire. 

The question of its being intolerant, therefore, 
could not arise. The early Roman Emperors 
looked upon Christianity with suspicion as it 
preached “novel principles and sanctions, not 
Roman”. Until Decius’ Edict of 250 there was, 
however, “no general and systematic persecution 
of Christianity”. Then an era of torture and 
persecution started in full swing. First, the 
Christians were required to sacrifice to the old 
Gods under penalty of imprisonment. Then their 
Churches were seized. Christian assemblies 
were banned, their bishops and priests were 
executed and even laymen of standing lost their 
posts, their properties and even their rights of 
residence. Ultimately their Churches were 
destroyed, their scriptures confiscated, their 
clergies imprisoned and subjected to great 
tortures and finally all Christian were required by 
law to offer sacrifice to old gods or die. There was 
a change in policy when Constantine rose to the 
throne of the Roman Empire. He issued an edict 
in 312 or 313 of conscience, for full rights to 
Christianity on an equality with other recognised 
religions, and for restoration of Church property 
recently confiscated. Emperor Constantine was 
anxious to consolidate his vast Roman Empire 
comprising peoples of different faiths. He 
considered Christianity as a useful handle in 
unifying the complex empire. Thus “favour was 
soon advanced to privilege and privilege to 
prestige that approached exclusive power”. 

5. The tables were now turned against other 
faiths. “By the Codes of Theodosius and 
Justinian, heretics were forbidden to build 
Churches, to assemble for religious purposes, or 
to teach their doctrines even in private. They 
denied rights of bequest and of inheritance, even 
of contract. Death was prescribed for lapse from 
Christianity into pagan rites. By the time of 
Justinian pagans were required to hear instruction 
in the Churches and were subjected to exile and 
confiscation of property if they refused baptism. 



Young children of pagan families were to be 
baptized”. (Religious Liberty: Bates, p. 135.) 

It is thus evident that repressive measures 
against non-Christians were plentifully decreed. 

In fifty-seven years from Valentinnian I, no less 
than sixty-eight laws against heretics were 
enacted. 

6. Theodosius II and Valentinian III (5th century) 
made deviation from orthodoxy “a crime against 
the State carrying even the death penalty”. By 
407, heresy was made a public crime. Soon it 
was enacted that the Imperial service should 
receive “no one who disagrees with us in faith and 
religion”. Thus Theodosius the Great, relentlessly 
pressed his subjects to conform to “Catholic 
(Trinitarian) Christianity”. By the year 386, all 
public-discussion of religious issues was 
prohibited. Imperial authority in spiritual matters 
was thus fully established in utter disregard of the 
“proud Christian conviction that the Emperor was 
not to be considered in terms of divinity”. 

7. What was the attitude of Christianity towards 
the Jews after Christianity itself was in authority? 

At first Judaism remained as in pagan Rome, “a 
permitted religion”, subject to certain disabilities. 

It was characterised by Theodosian Code as 
“abominable superstition”. Jews were not eligible 
to public office. A Christian who adopted Judaism 
lost his right of bequest. Exile or death was the 
penalty prescribed for the Jew who married a 
Christian wife. Capital punishment was awarded 
to a Jew who carried out proselytization of 
Christians. In the seventh century in Spain, Italy 
and Frankish Empire, Jews were ordered to 
choose between baptism and expulsion. It is 
really a matter of great surprise how the 
Christians could justify “the severity and 
ostracism” practised by the entire community 
against the Jews with doctrine of “tolerance and 
protection” which the teaching of scripture 
required of them: 



“The employment of organised 
religion on behalf of the State 
power and of State power on behalf 
of organised religion, both in 
contradiction of liberty, is found in 
the policy of Charlemagne among 
the Saxons. In his first capitulary 
for them he not only provided 
extraordinary honour and protection 
for the Church, he decreed death 
for those participating in pagan 
sacrifices and for those refusing to 
accept baptism” (P. 136, Religion 
Liberty: Bates.) 

8. Kenneth S. Latourette in his book “A History of 
the Expansion of Christianity” writes : 

“The conversion of the Saxons was 
achieved by a combination of 
armed force and zeal of the 
missionaries. The completion of 
conversion of the entire Roman 
Empire in the fourth and fifth 
centuries, accomplished though it 
had been under the urge of imperial 
legislation, had probably not 
entailed the killing of as many non- 
Christians as did the winning of this 
comparatively small area in North- 
Western Germany” (Ibid, p. 136). 

9. The above procedure was repeated again and 
again in the next thousand years of the history of 
Christianity from eighth to nineteenth century. 
Invaders and conquerors have been employing 
the Church for the purpose of consolidating their 
political conquests. 

10. Religious liberty was woefully crushed as a 
result of the unholy alliance between the Church 
and the State to persecute and torture those who 
did not subscribe to the official religions. 

11. Reaction came at last. There was demand for 
separation of the Church from the State and vice 



versa during the period (1500-1700) called the 
Reformation Era. Luther led the movement of 
Reformation. He gave expression in his early life 
to views like these: “Belief is a free thing which 
cannot be enforced”. “Heresy is a spiritual thing 
which no iron can hew down, no fire burn, no 
water drown”. Later on, there was, however, a 
change in his attitude. His vehemence against 
his opponents, whether Roman Catholics or other 
sects, which did not follow his pattern, led hint to 
leap “all bounds of love and mercy” In one of his 
Table Talks he is reported to have said: 

“Heretics are not to be disputed 
with, but to be condemned unheard, 
and whilst they perish by fire the 
faithful ought to pursue the evil to 
its source and bathe their hands in 
the blood of the Catholic Bishops, 
and the Pope, who is a devil in 
disguise.” (Religious Liberty: Bates, 
p. 156.) 

12. To the Duke of Saxony, Luther commanded 
both political and religious compulsions. His 
words are significant. “It will lie heavy on your 
conscience if you tolerate the Catholic worship for 
no secular prince can permit his subjects to be 
divided by the preaching of opposite doctrines”. 
“The fact”, as pointed out by William Sweet in his 
book “Religion in Colonial America,” “is that the 
rise of Protestantism was accompanied by an 
unprecedented outburst of intolerance and cruelty 
in which both Protestants and Catholics 
participated”. 

13. The spirit of intolerance exhibited either by the 
Catholics or the Protestants was not confined to 
heretics or the Jews but was directed even 
against each other. John Robinson wrote as 
follows in the early years of the seventeenth 
century:- 

“Protestants living in countries of 
Papists commonly plead for 
toleration of religions: so do Papists 



that live where Protestants bear 
sway though few of either 

especially of the clergy.would 

have the other tolerated, where the 
world goes on their side”. (P. 155 
ibid.) 

Such is the history of religious liberty under 
Christianity in the West. 

14. Let us now turn nearer home and study the 
question of religious liberty under the domination 
of the Christian countries of the West. As pointed 
out by Shri K. M. Panikkar in his book “Asia and a 
Western Dominance”, the coming in of the 
Portuguese in India marks the advent of 
Christianity on Indian soil. “With the Portuguese, 
Christianisation was a State enterprise”. Since 
the power was Roman Catholic in its religion, it 
were the Roman Catholic missionaries who 
carried on missionary work. On the 
recommendation of the Pope, King Joao III of 
Portugal appointed Francis Xavier and sent him to 
India for the propagation of Christian religion. He 
landed ashore in 1542 and set to his work in right 
earnest. He, however, soon realized that without 
State aid it was not possible to spread Christian 
religion in India. Writing to Father Rodrigues he 
said: 


“According to my experience the 
only effective way to spread religion 
India is for the King to proclaim by 
means of an edict to all his officials 
in India that he shall put trust only in 
those who will exert themselves to 
extend the reign of religion by every 
means in their power.” 

To King Joao III he wrote as follows: 

“To your servants you must declare 

as plainly as possible.that the 

only way of escaping your wrath 
and of obtaining your favour Is to 
make as many Christians as 





Possible in the countries over which 
they rule.” (P. 382, Asia and 
Western Dominance) 

In 1546, he wrote a letter to the King of Portugal 
requesting him to establish the Holy Inquisition, 
as it was called. This “unholy and wicked 
institution” lasted for nearly two hundred and fifty 
years. It perpetrated innumerable atrocities on 
both Christians and non-Christians. It proved the 
worst of its kind, established anywhere. 

15. The Portuguese power became ruthless the 
more it got itself established in India. Royal 
Charters were issued from time to time making 
invidious distinctions between Christians and non- 
Christians and subjecting the latter to untold 
disabilities. In 1559 an enactment was passed 
debarring all Hindus from holding any public 
office. In the same year another law was enacted 
confiscating the properties of non-Christian 
orphans if they refused to be converted to 
Christianity. Yet another law ordered destruction 
of Hindu temples and images and prohibited all 
non-Christian religious festivals. In 1560 all the 
Brahmans and goldsmiths were ordered to accept 
Christianity otherwise they were to be turned out 
of Goa. By a law passed in 1567 the Hindus 
were prohibited from performing their important 
religious ceremonies such as investiture of sacred 
thread, marriage ceremonies and even cremation 
rites. Hindu religious books were proscribed. All 
non-Christians above the age of 15 were forced 
to attend the preaching of Christian religion. 

Hindu temples were destroyed and in their place 
churches were built. In 1575 another law was 
passed by which the Hindu nationals were 
debarred from their civic right of renting state 
land. People of Goa were prohibited to use their 
native language by an order of 1684 and were 
allowed three years to learn the Portuguese 
language under pain of being proceeded against 
under law of the land. 

The aim of all these enactments was to compel 
the people either to accept Christian religion or to 
leave the State. 



16. The activities of the Christian Mission during 
the days of Portuguese’s sway in India were 
confined to South India and were carried on by 
the Catholic Mission. The decay of Portuguese 
power in 1660, adversely affected the missionary 
activities in India. The first phase of Christian 
Missionary activities in India, came to a close by 
the middle of seventeenth century. 

17. From 1660 the second phase in the history of 
Christianity in India begins. There was a great set 
back to Christian activities in India during the 
second phase. In the words of Shri K. M. 
Panikkar, “The European Nations that followed 
the Portuguese in Indian ocean were interested 
solely in trade, and as they were organised as 
commercial corporations, the question of 
converting the heathens was of no significance to 
them”. Further, the Dutch, who followed the 
Portuguese in the first instance, and the British, 
who displaced them ultimately, were Protestants 
and had no sympathy with the Catholic Order. Till 
the end of the eighteenth century, the Protestant 
zeal for Missionary work had not developed. 
Consequently there was a lull in Christian 
Missionary activities. 

18. From the beginning the policy of the East 
India Company was one of discouraging the 
Missionaries. Its primary concern was trade and 
it was felt that any interference with the religious 
beliefs and practices and social habits of the 
people of India would create a prejudice against 
the company and go against its interests. From 
1757 East India Company assumed political 
power in its hands. Its decision to exclude 
Missions from territories under its sway became 
even more definite and pronounced. The fact that 
organised Protestant Missions with political 
influence did not exist in England helped the 
company to uphold and follow its policy of 
religious neutrality. By the end of the eighteenth 
century a spirit of evangelism permeated the 
Protestants as well. 



19. A new phase of Christian Missionary activities 
in India set in with the abolition of the East India 
Company’s monopoly in 1813. Till then no 
European who was not in the service of the East 
India Company could set his foot on Indian soil 
without the permission of the company, but when 
the ban was removed in 1813, any European 
could visit India freely and the company had no 
legal right to stop him. 

20. The progress of modern Christian missions in 
India began with the consolidation of British 
power in the country. The Catholics had done 
much work in the land but their work was limited 
to the areas in the south. The fact that the 
political influence of the Portuguese was confined 
to a small part of India did not favour the spread 
of Christianity to other parts. The number of 
converts and the areas they belonged to were 
limited. The field of the Christian work became 
extensive during British rule in India. 

21. Protestant missionary work in India was 
initiated by Dr. William Carey who landed in India 
in 1793 and settled in Serampore-a Dutch 
settlement, as the East India Company did not 
give him any quarter in their territory. Dr. Duff 
joined Dr. Carey soon after and the two laid the 
foundations of Christian missionary work under 
the Protestant denomination. 

22. The war of Independence of 1857 was a 
turning point in the history of Indian politics. 
Thereafter the governance of India passed off 
from the control of the East India Company to that 
of the British Crown. As regards the cause of the 
revolt there were two schools of thought in 
England at that time. The majority view according 
to Mr. Arthur Mayhew, attributed the disaster 
primarily to popular resentment caused by the 
Government patronage and support of Christian 
missionary work in its educational and 
philanthropic side, by its legislation on Christian 
principles against social evils such as infanticide, 
suttee, and converts’ loss of civil rights and by the 
open profession of Christianity and support of 
proselytising agencies by many of individual 



officers”. The other view held was that 
catastrophy was the result of “nervous 
apprehension of the British Government, its dread 
of emphasising its true faith and occasional 
appearance of repudiating it and its pandering to 
heathen prejudice”. 

23. There seems little doubt that the mind of the 
general populace was profoundly disturbed by the 
new policy in administrative and educational 
matters that had been followed by the 
Government since 1813. Things, however, came 
to a head when under the very aggressive rule of 
Lord Dalhousie several laws were passed which 
struck at the very root of Indian social life. In 
some cases he was no doubt, prompted by his 
zeal to help christianisation of the country. Thus 
for example, a law was passed preserving the 
right of inheritance of a convert to Christianity in 
Hindu family. There was already a seething mass 
of discontent amongst the people. Thus, only a 
spark was needed to start the conflagration and 
the same was provided by the greased cartridges 
used in rifles. It was suspected that the fat of cow 
and pig was used for the purpose. 

24. The British Government having realised the 
gravity of the situation decided to make 
administration of India as a direct responsibility of 
the British Crown. To allay the excited religious 
feelings of the people of India Queen Victoria, at 
the time of assuming direct control, issued the 
following Proclamation in 1858:- 

“Firmly relying ourselves on the 
truth of Christianity and 
acknowledging with gratitude the 
solace of religion, we disclaim alike 
the right and desire to impose our 
conviction on any of our subjects. 

We declare it to be our royal will 
and pleasure that none he in any 
wise favoured, or molested or 
disquited by reason of their faith or 
observance but that all shall alike 
enjoy the equal and impartial 
protection of the law, and we strictly 



charge and enjoin all those who 
may be in authority under us that 
they abstain from all interference 
with religious belief or worship of 
any of our subjects on pain of our 
highest displeasure.” 

25. The above Royal Proclamation has been 
considered as the Magna Charta of religious 
liberty and neutrality. Till the year 1947, the 
official policy of the British India Government, in 
matters of religion, continued to be that 
enunciated in the above Royal proclamation. 

26. There was however difference between theory 
and practice. Although the British Government of 
India were wedded to a policy of religious 
neutrality, yet indirectly the Christian officials 
holding positions of importance, afforded 
considerable encouragement and facilities to the 
Christian missionaries with whom they had their 
natural affinity. The Christians under the British 
rule in India enjoyed a priviledged position. To 
quote K. M. Panikkar from his book “Asia and 
Western Dominance”, “Legislation Protected the 
rights of the converts to their share n the Hindu 
joint families and the decision of the High Courts 
enabled converts to blackmail their wives to follow 
them into the fold of their new religion. The 
Government also encouraged the Missionaries to 
work among the backward tribes, being satisfied 
that Hindu opinion would not be offended by it.” 
The author further adds-“On the whole however it 
may be said that the British Officials preserved an 
attitude of neutrality and the British Government 
always vigilant, in matters affecting law and order 
and the loyalty of the elements on which they 
depend for their rule discouraged methods of 
propaganda offensive to the Hindu sentiments”. 

27. Before Christian Domination, India was under 
Muslim domination. Although the first Muslim 
invasion of India took place in 711 A.D., yet 
“consistently progressive conquest” of India 
began about the year 1000 A.D. It was however 
from the sixteenth century onward that the 
“Muslims dominated Hindu society, in a political 



and military sense”. Babar and Akbar however 
tended to be “indifferent to all, but the political 
aspects of religion”. But Akbar’s son, Shah Jahan, 
ordered in 1633, “the destruction of Hindu 
temples, which the faithful had begun openly to 
erect in his father’s time.” Intermarriages of 
Hindus and Muslims which were frequent in the 
Punjab and Kashmir were prohibited. 
“Aurangazeb, the puritan champion of Islam”, 
writes Searle Bates, “piled persecution upon 
repression”. In 1669 he issued orders “to the 
Government of all provinces to demolish the 
schools and temples of infidels and put down their 
teaching and religious practices strongly”. As a 
result a large number of Hindu shrines, including 
the famous Hindu places of worship suffered 
destruction. “Gross desecration”, writes Searle 
Bates, on page 270 of his book Religious Liberty, 
“was frequently added, such as the killing of cows 
in sanctuaries and the trampling of idols in public 
squares. In 1679 Aurangazeb reimposed “the 
Jizya Tax on the unbelievers with the object of 
spreading Islam and overthrowing infidel 
practices”. Hindu religious fairs were prohibited. 
People were encouraged to embrace Islam by the 
offer “of grants to converts or of jobs in 
Government employ, or of liberation from prison”. 
These measures resulted in “a noticeable bulk of 
accessions”, to the Muslim immigrant minority 
from “weak portions of heterogeneous Indian 
Society”. “The Mohamadan invasions”, in the 
words of Searle Bates, “helped to extinguish the 
fading Budhism and were severe upon the Jains. 
The Sikhs, a relatively late sect to arise within 
Hinduism, preserved themselves by strong 
organization and by military powers, alike difficult 
to overwhelm and valuable to placate”. 

28. According to Searle Bates, “In general India 
has not thought or organised or legislated in 
terms of the oppression of religion or of the liberty 
of religion. Striving of religio-social groups there 
has been”. (P. 271: Religious Liberty.) 

29. Coming to more recent times we find that in 
1924 there was a Unity Conference held at Delhi. 
Quite a number of Indian representatives of 



various religious Communities and political 
leaders attended the Conference. Mahatma 
Gandhi took a prominent part in the deliberations. 
The Conference passed a resolution on religious 
liberty, which rims as follows:- 

“This Conference is emphatically of 
opinion that the utmost freedom of 
conscience and religion is essential 
and condemns any desecration of 
places of worship to whatsoever 
faith they may belong, and any 
persecution or punishment of any 
person for adopting or reverting to 
any faith, and further condemns any 
attempt by compulsion to convert 
people to any one’s faith or to 
enforce our’s own religious 
observance at the cost of the rights 
of others. 

“With a view to give effect to the 
general principles promoting better 
relations between the various 
communities in India laid down in 
the above resolution and to secure 
full toleration of all faiths, beliefs 
and religious practices, this 
conference records its opinion. 

“That every individual or group shall 
have full liberty to hold and give 
expression to his or their beliefs 
and follow any religions practice, 
with due regard to the feelings of 
others and without interfering with 
their rights. In no case may such 
individual or group revile the 
founders, holy persons or tenets of 
any other faith. 

“That every individual is at liberty to 
follow any faith to change it 
whenever he wills, and shall not by 
reason of such change of faith 
render himself liable to any 



punishment or persecution at the 
hands of the followers of the faith 
renounced by him. 

That every individual or group is at 
liberty to convert or reconvert 
another by argument or persuasion 
but must not attempt to do so or 
prevent its being done, by force, 
fraud, or other unfair means, such 
is the offering of material 
inducement. Persons under sixteen 
years of age should not be 
converted unless it be along with 
their parents or guardians, by a 
person of another faith. If any 
person under sixteen years of age 
is found stranded, without his 
parents or guardians, he should be 
promptly handed over to a person 
of his own faith. There must be no 
secrecy about any conversion or 
reconversion”. 

Such in brief is the History of religious liberty in 
Europe and India, with special reference to 
Christianity. 

30. We have so far dealt with the history of 
“Religions Liberty”. Let us now consider the 
question of Religious liberty as it exists today in 
various countries (other than India), 

31. There are at present four great religions 
prevailing in the world, viz., Hinduism, Budhism, 
Christianity and Islam. Hinduism prevails in India 
alone. Budhism prevails in China and Japan. 
Islam prevails in Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan 
and Pakistan. 

32. The Christian countries of the world may be 
divided into three categories, viz., first those 
where Catholic Church is the prevailing church 
and secondly those where Protestant Church 
predominates, thirdly where orthodox church 
prevails. Prominent under the first category are 



the States of Italy, Spain, Belgium and Portugal. 
Russia and Greece are the countries of the 
Orthodox Church. 

33. Let us first take Italy, which is the official seat 
of Catholic Church, being the residence of the 
Pope, head of the Catholic religion. Before Italy 
became Fascist, the state was subordinate to the 
Church. The Pope dictated even the politics. 
When Mussolini came in power the relations of 
the Church and the State were readjusted by 
initial consent under what is known as 
Concordat. Art. I of the Concordat lays down:- 

“Italy recognises the Catholic 
religion as the sole religion of the 
State.” 

Previous to the Lateran Agreement of 1929, Art. I 
of the Constitution of Italy read as follows:- 

“The Apostolic Roman Catholic 
religion is the only religion of the 
State. Other cults now existing are 
tolerated in Conformity of law.” 

34. Pope Pins XI interpreted the said article as 
implying that any discussion of religion, written or 
oral, which might “easily mislead the good faith of 
the less enlightened” must be punished by law. 

In Italy it is only the Catholic religion that is 
provided unqualified protection under the penal 
code (Arts, 402-405) against public abuse and 
libelous attacks. If such offences are committed 
against other churches, extenuating 
circumstances are to be considered in assessing 
the offence. 

35. In the matter of education, Art. 36 of the 
Concordat lays down:- 

“Italy considers Christian doctrine in 
a form handed down by the 
Catholic tradition as the basis and 
apex of public education.” 



Such education in Italy can be imparted only by 
teachers or priests approved by the Church 
authorities and any withdrawal of approval is at 
once effective against the teacher. 

“Liberty of Conscience” in a 
Catholic State was interpreted to 
mean “liberty to accept the church’s 
guidance of conscience without 
interference by the 
State.” (Religious Liberty: pp. 42- 
45.) 

36. Next in importance to Italy amongst the 
Catholic countries is Spain. “Religious liberty for 
other than Roman Catholics”, says M. Searle 
Bates in his “Religious Liberty and Inquiry”, 
“scarcely exists in Spain today, as has been 
largely true throughout the modern history of the 
country.” 

37. The Catholic Church in Spain, in course of 
time, became a dominating power which had 
“subjugated the political power and was nearly 
omnipotent in public, social and economic life”. 
There was reaction against this amongst the 
inhabitants and hence the Spanish Revolution of 
1931 -39. The frenzy of the lovers of political 
freedom was let loose against the Church 
administration in Spain. The Church in Spain 
came in for persecution at the hands of the 
Fascists who subscribed to atheism. It is said 
that 20,000 churches were destroyed or looted, 
16,000 priests, monks and nuns were either 
executed or murdered and 300,000 inhabitants 
lost their lives. Peace was ultimately restored 
after this blood-bath between the Church and the 
State. The accord with the Holy See reaffirmed 
the four articles of the Concordat of 1851 which 
ran as follows:- 

“(1) Catholicism continues to be the 
sole religion of the Spanish nation, 
to the exclusion of any other, and is 
always to be maintained with all the 
rights and privileges which it should 



have in accordance with God’s law- 
and the prescriptions of the sacred 
canons.” 

(2) Instruction in all schools shall 
conform in all respects to the 
doctrines of the Catholic religion, 
and, therefore, bishops and their 
aides shall have full and free 
supervision over the purity of faith, 
and customs and the religious 
education of youth, even in public 
schools. 

(3) All authorities shall be charged 
with showing and causing others to 
show the bishops and the clergy the 
respect and consideration due to 
them according to divine precepts, 
and the Government shall grant 
effective protection and sup port to 
the bishops wherever they request 
it, particularly when they combat, 

“the inequity of men who attempt to 
pervert the souls of the faithful and 
to corrupt customs,” or whenever it 
is necessary to prevent the 
publication or circulation of evil or 
harmful books. 

(4) In all other matters relative to 
the exercise of ecclesiastical 
authority and to the ministry of holy 
orders, the bishops and the clergy 
shall enjoy full liberty according to 
the sacred canons.” - “Religious 
Liberty”, pp. 14 to 19. 

38. The Church has regained its position in 
Spain. The head of the State has an important 
say in the selection of the Spanish bishops and 
archbishops, although the Pope participates in. 
the process. Catechism is obligatory in all State 
Schools and the baptising of all children is 
insisted upon. 



39. In Spain, Catholic Church occupies a 
privileged position. “One people, one State, one 
leader, one faith, one Church” is the common 
slogan. “No rights or status”, says Searle Bates, 
“exist for other religious beliefs or organisations of 
any sort.” A police order of 1940 decrees that, 
“through a generous tolerance of religious 
opinions of foreigners who reside in our country, 
in so far as they are not opposed to Christian 
morality or infringe upon police and health rations, 
“foreigners may continue to gather in chapels in 
which rites and ceremonies different from the 
Catholic religion are celebrated”. The “general 
tolerance”, further orders that foreigners “must 
withdraw from the walls, entrances, doors and 
other visible places, any lettering, emblem, flag, 
or other sign which might lead to confusion of the 
said chapels with churches of the Roman Catholic 
religion”- ‘Religious Liberty’, pp. 19 and 20. 

40. Not to speak of freedom of conscience being 
guaranteed to non-believers in Spain, even the 
believers not subscribing to the tenets of the 
Catholic Church have no religious liberty in Spain 
as is evident from the following extract from the 
Report on Religious Liberty by Searle Bates:- 

“According to the reports of the year 
1944, it seems that twenty out of 
two hundred Spanish Protestant 
churches are now open. Some 
pastors have been driven out of the 
country and others work under 
persecution, covert or naked. All 
Protestant schools were closed. In 
the large cities members are able to 
get along, but in smaller 
communities recognised 
Protestants are commonly refused 
employment, sale of goods and 
government relief. No Spaniard 
can secure a certificate for leaving 
school or can enter the Civil Service 
unless he has official evidence of 
instruction in the Roman Catholic 
religion” -’’Religions Liberty, p. 20.” 



41. Portugal is often presented by the Catholic 
Missionaries as the Catholic State par excellence 
founded on the religious, political and social 
principles of the great encyclicals from Leo XIII to 
the present day. There is no State Church as 
such in Portugal. The Concordat, however, 
provides in Articles II and III an 

open course for the Catholic Church in the 
Portuguese Republic:- 

The Catholic Church may freely 
exercise her authority; in all the 
matters within her competence, she 
may carry out without impediment 
any acts consonant with her rules 
and jurisdiction. 

The Catholic Church in Portugal 
may organise herself freely in 
harmony with the provisions of 
Canon Law and thereby constitute 
associations and organisations 
whose personality at law the State 
shall recognise.’’-“Religious Liberty”, 
pages 97 and 98. 

42. The place of the Church in education is well 
established in Articles XX and XXI of the 
Concordat 1940 quoted below:- 

“The teaching administered by the 
State in public schools shall be 
guided by the principles of Christian 
doctrine and morals traditional to 
the country. Therefore, the Catholic 
religion and Catholic morals will be 
taught in public elementary, 
complementary and intermediate 
schools to pupils whose parents or 
guardians have not lodged a 
request to the contrary. 

For the teaching of the Catholic 
religion, the text-books employed 
must be passed by ecclesiastical 
authorities. In no case shall 




religious instruction be given by 
persons not approved by the 
ecclesiastical authorities as 
competent.” - “Religious Liberty”, p. 

98. 

43. In the case of her colonial possessions the 
Portugal. Government follows a policy which is a 
negation of religious liberty. The Portugal 
Catholic Church has monopoly of spiritual training 
of African and Asian people. The non-Catholic 
Missions are subjected to serious restrictions and 
discriminations in clear violation of religions liberty 
and of international agreements. Article 24 of the 
Colonial Act runs as follows:- 

“Portuguese Catholic Missions 
overseas being an instrument of 
civilisation and national influence, 
and establishments for the training 
of staff for service therein and in the 
Portuguese Padroado, shall 
possess juridical personality and 
shall be protected and assisted by 
the State as educational 
institutions.” 

Article 2 of the same Act lays down as follows:- 

“It is the essential attribute of the 
Portuguese nation to fulfil the 
historic functions of possessing and 
colonising overseas dominions and 
of civilising the native population 
inhabiting them as also that of 
exercising the moral influence 
ascribed to it by the Padroado in 
the East.” (Religious Liberty, p. 515). 

44. How did the Portuguese Mission authorities 
act in christianising and civilising the native 
population of India can be seen from the following 
extract on page 161 of “The Heritage of the Indian 
Christian”. 


The next comers were the Roman 



Catholic Portuguese who obtained 
the settlement on the west coast 
early in the sixteenth century, and 
proceeded to follow their usual 
policy of rapid christianisation of the 
Indian people under their immediate 
influence. Thus, Goa remains 
nominally Christian to this day. But 
this incident in Indian History is 
chiefly important because it 
provides St. Francis Xavier and his 
fellow-Jesuits with an opportunity 
for evangelistic work in South 
India. The Portuguese soon 
discovered the Nestorian Christians 
in Malabar, and immediately sought 
by all possible means, fair and foul, 
to bring them under the obedience 
of the Pope, and to a profession of 
the orthodox faith. By dint of 
wholesale employment of force, 
bribery, they succeeded in 
subjugating the larger part of them.” 

45. In Columbia the Catholics have forbidden the 
evangelistic activity of non-Catholics, i.e., to 
proselytise or propagandise outside their places 
of worship (page 246, National Christian Council 
Review, May 1954). 

46. “France” in the words of Searle Bates, “has 
not, since 1870, been considered a “Catholic 
country” in the old meaning and not in recent 
years a “Catholic State” in the new sense of 
corporative structure based on the doctrines of 
the encyclical fully supporting the Catholic 
Religion and Catholic education. Yet France 
remains a nation in which Catholicism is first and 
dominant among religious influences. (Reli. Lib. p. 
103). 


“SWEDEN maintains a constitution 
of the year 1809. Article 2 requires: 
“The King shall always belong to 
the pure evangelical faith as 
adopted and explained in the 
unaltered Augsburg Confession and 



in the resolution of the Upsala 
Synod of 1593”. The King’s 
ministers must belong to “The pure 
evangelical Faith” as so defined 
(Article 4). Freedom from 
constraint of conscience and 
protection of every one “in the free 
exercise of his religion, provided he 
does not thereby disturb public 
order or occasion general offence,” 
are secured by article 16. To 
offices other than that of royal 
minister adherents of other 
Christian faiths and of Judaism may 
be appointed; but “no person not 
belonging to the pure evangelical 
faith shall take part, as Judge or in 
any other position, in the discussion 
or decision of questions relating to 
divine worship, to religious 
instruction, or to appointments 
within the Swedish Church.” (Article 
28). Reli. Lib. p. 524. 

47. The imparting of religious instruction is 
compulsory in the State elementary; secondary 
and teacher training schools for all pupils whose 
parents are members of the State Church. Only 
members of the State Church are appointed as 
teachers. Denominational groups and persons 
not members of the State Church are not 
permitted to establish their own schools for 
children. Up to the end of the 19th century 
Sweden was a Lutheran State in the full sense of 
the word and liberty of conscience was 
nonexistent. 

“All administrative and judicial 
posts, the entire teaching and 
medical professions, required a 
Lutheran profession of faith. 

Attempt to get a Lutheran to chance 
his confession were penal offences, 
and apostacy from the State 
religion made a Swede liable to 
banishment for life.” Reli. Lib. p. 

205. 



48. NORWEGIAN constitution is as old as 1814 
with amendment from time to time. Article 2 of 
the Constitution declares: 

“The Evangelical Lutheran religion 
shall remain the public religion of 
the State. Such inhabitants as 
profess this religion are required to 
educate their children therein. 

Jesuists shall not be admitted.” 

Article 4 implies active furtherance 
of the State religion by the 
Government, which acts for the 
sovereign : The King shall always 
profess, maintain and defend the 
Evangelical Lutheran religion, 

“More than half the King’s ministers 
must belong to the State church. 

On the other hand, the king and his 
ministers prescribe the ritual and 
worship of the Church, appoint and 
discipline the Clergy (Articles 12, 

16, 21). Reli. Lib. p. 523. 

The Cardinal principle of educational policy of 
Norway is that the children should receive 
“Christian education . Therefore, religious 
instruction is compulsory for all pupils in State 
elementary, secondary and normal schools. 
Except as exemption is claimed by parents who 
have left the State Church. Class teachers given 
religious instruction and are appointed with the 
approval of the Bishop Non-conformist schools 
are not given any State-aid. (Reli. Lib. p. 332). 

49. In DENMARK Lutheran Church is the State 
Church. King must be a member of the Church. 
The State controls and subsidises the activities of 
the Church and has not yet given it a separate 
constitution. (Reli. Lib. p. M). 

The Danish constitution of 1915 is based upon 
the document of 1849. Article 3 of the 
Constitution lays down- 



“The Evangelical Lutheran Church 
is the national Church of Denmark 
and as such it is supported by the 
State”. (Reli. Lib. p. 523). 

In schools under State management all children 
receive instruction in the Bible, Shorter Catechism 
and Hymns in the lower classes and in church 
history in the upper class. Each child of fourteen 
years or more belonging to the State Church, is 
obliged to attend “Confirmation classes” twice a 
year but can be exempted from actual 
confirmation on application. (Reli. Liberty p. 104). 

50. Of the European States subscribing to 
Orthodox Christian Church, Russia is the most 
important example. “At no time and in no land 
has the world known so dramatic a denial of 
religious liberty as in Russia since 1918”. The 
provisional Government (1917) had freed all 
recognised Churches from State control and 
interference. By the beginning of 1918, the 
Soviet decrees “nationalized Church property and 
the schools, instituted civil marriage and 
separated the Orthodox Church from State and 
school alike.” Freedom of conscience was 
granted and all restrictions of fights based on 
belief or non-belief were annulled. Religious 
instruction in private was authorised, but was 
barred from all public or private schools, where 
general subjects were taught. (Reli. Liberty p. 2). 

UP to 1929 the Constitutions of the various 
republics constituting the Soviet Union contained 
the following article : 

“In order to provide the workers 
actual freedom of conscience, the 
church is separated from the State, 
and the school from the church, 
while freedom for religious and anti- 
religious propaganda is recognised 
for all citizens. The Stalin 
Constitution of 1936’, still in force, 
has the following provisions:- 



“For the purpose of providing to 
citizens freedom of conscience, the 
Church in the U. S. S. R. is 
separated from the State, and the 
school from the Church, freedom 
for the conduct of religious cults 
and freedom for anti-religious 
propaganda is recognised for all 
citizens.” (Article 124). 

The period from 1937 to 1939 was a period of 
persecution of the Church leaders and the 
Church. In 1938 alone several prominent bishops 
were shot, while over fifty bishops were sent to 
prison or to the concentration camps. A heavy 
rent charge was imposed upon Church buildings 
with the result that in 1937 alone 1,100 orthodox 
churches and hundreds of other places of worship 
were forced to close. The Soviet statistics for 
1940 showed that there were then 4,225 listed 
Orthodox Churches with 5,665 priests as against 
46,457 such churches and 50,960 priests before 
the revolution 1917. There were 28 Orthodox 
bishops and 37 monasteries in 1940, as 
compared to 130 bishops and 1,026 monasteries 
before Revolution. 

The situation, however, changed by 1944. The 
Central Organisation of the Russian Orthodox 
Church has been officially restored. (Religious 
Liberty, pp. 4-9). 

51. Second in importance amongst the countries 
having Orthodox Church is GREECE. The 
Constitution of Greece grants freedom and 
protection of rights to every recognised religion. 
The Church of Hellas is established by the State, 
which pays the bishops and exercise supervision 
of all temporal matters in church affairs. Spiritual 
authority vests it the synod of all the bishops. 
Marriages and baptism of evangelical groups are 
recognised as valid. 

Art I of the constitution lays down as follows :- 


The Dominant religion in Greece is 



that of the Eastern Orthodox 
Church of Christ.” 

“The Orthodox Church of Greece is 
inseparably united, from the 
dogmatic point of view, with the 
Great Church of Jesus, 

Constantinople, and every other 
Church of Jesus Christ of the same 
dogmas, observing immutably, like 
it, the holy apostolic and conciliar 
canons and the holy traditions. It is 
autocephalic; it exercises 
independently of every other 
Church its sovereign rights and it is 
administered by a Holy Synod of 
arch bishops. The ministers of eve 
cult are subject to the same 
surveillance, on the part of the 
State as those of the dominant 
religion.” 

“The liberty of conscience is 
inviolable. 

All the known cults may be 
exercised freely under the 
protection of the Law, provided they 
are not contrary to public order or to 
good morals. Proselytism is 
forbidden.” (Religious Liberty, p. 

525). 

The official definition of term Proselytism as given 
below not only guard against the possibilities of its 
abuse but prevents any religious change even by 
persuasion or information. 

“Any attempt by force, or threats or 
illicit means, or grants of promises 
of financial or other aid, or by 
fraudulent means or promises, or 
by moral and material assistance, 
or by taking advantage of any 
person’s inexperience or 
confidence or by exploiting any 



person’s necessity or spiritual 
(mental) weakness or 
thoughtlessness, or in general, any 
attempt or effort (whether 
successful or not) directory or 
indirectly to penetrate into religious 
conscience of persons (whether of 
age or under age) of another faith, 
for the purpose of consciously 
altering their religious conscience or 
faith, so as to agree with the ideas 
or convictions of the proselytising 
party.’’-(Religious Liberty, P. 112). 

52. Of the remaining Christian countries, Great 
Britain, Germany and U. S. A. deserve special 
mention. 

53. Question of religious liberty in GREAT 
BRITAIN centred round the historic position of the 
Church of England as the National Church. The 
King and the Lord Chancellor must be members 
of the Church of England. Twenty-four bishops 
and two arch-bishops are members of the House 
of Lords. The Church enjoys properties and 
endowments. 

The problem of the church schools and religious 
education in State schools of England has 
aroused controversy. In the elementary and 
secondary schools under the control and 
management of the Church of England religious 
instruction is imparted. In the State school, 
religious education does not exist. Some persons 
in localities of the first type wanted religious 
instruction to he nonsectarian or varied from the 
Church of England type or voluntary only. Some 
parents in localities of the second type asked for 
more positive religious instruction being imparted 
to their children than was the case. Dr. Henson 
has suggested a solution. He says: 

“If instruction in Christian faith and 
morals were made compulsory 
(subject to a conscience clause) in 
all schools, if the State limited its 



direct concerns to secular subjects 
and entrusted the religious 
instruction to the local education 
authorities, there is little reason for 
doubting that in a very short time 
the problem would be happily 
solved.” (Religious Liberty, page 
88 .) 

54. In GERMANY before the National Socialist 
Party came in power it reassured the various 
religions by including the following demand as 
one of the Twenty-five points it stood for- 

“We demand religious freedom for 
all denominations, so long as they 
do not endanger the stability of the 
State or offend against the German 
people’s instincts of morality and 
decency. The party as such takes 
its stand on a positive Christianity, 
without committing itself to any 
particular creed.” 

As soon as it came in power, it assumed, “that 
religion could be utilised for its own purposes of 
unity and morale and that autonomous elements 
of faith, spirit and organisation could be 
assimilated or crushed”. Dr. Adolf Keller, a Swiss 
writer, says in his book “The Church and the 
State” as follows:- 

“In the legislation and church policy 
of the State since 1933 an effort 
has been made to adapt or to 
assimilate the Church to the State 
to include her life within that of the 
nation, to introduce the principles of 
national socialism into the 
fellowship of Christ to impose the 
Fuehrer principle upon her and to 
make her a school of National 
Socialist Education. 

“The irruption of State power into 
Church administration, the 



imprisonment of bishops, the 
banishment and harsh treatment of 
pastors, the closing of churches, 
questionable electioneering 
methods, the financial privation, 
were means used during this 
period, which were regarded by the 
confessional group as persecution 
and misuse of State power to the 
undue advantage of one party in 
the Church.” (Religious Liberty, pp. 
21 - 22 ). 

The Church rose up in resistance against the 
totalitarian dictatorship. In the Evangelical 
Church Manifesto of 1935 the issue was made 
clear:- 


“The German people is facing a 
decision of greatest historical 
importance. The question is 
whether the Christian faith is to 

retain its right to exist or not. 

Powers of the State and of the party 
are being used against the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ and against those 

who profess it.Three years 

ago millions of Evangelical 
Germans welcomed the new 
beginning in the life of our people 
with warm hearts. They did so with 
all the more joy because the 
Government of our Nation had said 
in its first proclamation of February 
1, 1933, that it would ‘firmly protect 
Christianity’ as the basis of our 
whole moral system.” (Religious 
Liberty, page 25.) 

The principle of religious liberty was thrown to the 
winds. There was not only interference by the 
State in religious matters, but violation of religious 
liberty 


“One of the major breaches of 
religious liberty has been the gross 





interference with pastors and 
priests and their work. By October 
of 1934 more than 1,000 pastors 
had been arrested or had suffered 
some form of police intervention. 

On the single day of March 11, 

1935, 700 pastors were arrested, 
and 5,000 others were visited by 
the Gestapo, ‘telling them exactly 
where they and the State stood 
for’. In 1937 virtually the whole 
leadership of the Confessional 
Church was put behind bars as 
common criminals.” (Religious 
Liberty, page 26.) 

55. The Jews of Germany were subjected to 
untold oppression. 

“In March of 1938 the Jewish 
religious communities lost their 
status as bodies of public right, and 
their officials were deprived of civil 
service standing. On November 7 
of that year, a young Jew shot a 
Secretary of the German Embassy 
in Paris. Within twelve hours over 
400 Jewish synagogues and places 
of worship were dynamited and 
fired. Jewish shops were 
systematically pillaged and 
wrecked; while 60,000 more Jews 
were rushed to the infamous 
concentration camps. Fearful 
economic exactions were put upon 
the enfeebled Jewish community. 

The last Jewish children remaining 
in German schools were 
dismissed.” (Religious Liberty, page 
32.) 

56. Let us blow Advert to the U. S. A.- “The 
nature of American constitutional and judicial 
systems is such as to link together constitutions, 
major laws and court decisions into one 
complex.” (Religious Liberty, p. 529). 



The constitutions of the various States declare 
and protect tile rights of their citizens to religious 
belief and its exercise in terms summed up in the 
following statement of Dr. Zollman in his book 
“American Church Law”:- 


“Every individual has by nature the 
inherent, inalienable and 
indefeasible right of worshipping 
and serving God in the mode most 
consistent with the dictates of his 
conscience: that none shall be 
deprived of this right; that no human 
authority shall in any case interfere 
with or in any manner control or 
infringe it; and that the free exercise 
and enjoyment of religious faith, 
worship, belief, sentiment and 
profession shall forever be allowed, 
secured, protected, guaranteed, 
and held sacred. It follows that 
every person is at liberty to profess 
and by argument to maintain his 
opinion in matters of religion; that 
every denomination is to be equally 
protected by suitable laws in the 
peaceable enjoyment of its own 
mode of public worship ; that none 
will be subordinated to any other or 
receive any peculiar privileges or 
advantages-in short, that no 
preference will he given to no 
discrimination made against any 
religious establishment, church, 
sect, creed, society or 
denomination or any form of 
religious faith or worship or system 
of ecclesiastical policy. Absolute 
freedom to choose such religious 
belief as his judgement and 
conscience may approve his thus 
become the birth right of American 
citizenship. Any civil or political 
rights, privileges, capacities or 
positions which a person may have 
or hold will not be diminished or 
enlarged or in any other manner 



affected by his religious faith, nor 
will he be disqualified from the 
performance of his public or private 
duties on account thereof. He will 
not, on account of his religious 
opinion, persuasion, profession, 
and sentiments or the peculiar 
mode or manner of his religions 
worship, be hurt, molested, 
disturbed, restrained, burdened, or 
made to suffer in his person or 
property”. (Pages 531-.32 ibid). 

57. Liberty of conscience is guaranteed by the 
court as well as constitute. “Liberty of conscience 
and belief is preserved alike to the followers of 
Christ, to Buddhists and Mohammedan, to all who 
think that their tenets alone are illuminated by the 
light of divine truth, but it is equally preserved to 
the skeptic, agnostic, atheist and infidel, who says 
in his heart, There is no God’.” (Religious Liberty, 
page 534.) 

Is the United States of America a Christian 
country in the juridical sense? Various court 
decisions on the question are in. the affirmative. 
This fact has great bearing on the legislation of 
the country. Dr. Zollman comments in standard 
work “American Church Law”, as follows:- 

“The fact that the prevailing religion 
in the United States is Christian 
cannot but exercise a potent 
influence. Since the great body of 
the American People are Christian 
in sentiment, our laws and 
institutions “must necessarily be 
based upon and embody the 
teaching of the Redeemer of 
Mankind. Christianity has been 
declared to be the alpha and 
omega of our moral law and the 
power which directs the operation 
of our judicial system. It underlines 
the whole administration of the 
Government, state or national, 
enters into its laws, and is 



applicable to all because it 
embodies those essentials of 
religious faith which are broad 

enough to include all believers. 

It follows that certain acts which 
would be deemed to be indifferent 
or even praiseworthy in a pagan 
country are punished as crimes, or 
misdemeanors in America. This is 
nor done “for the purpose of 
propping up the Christian religion, 
but because those breaches are 
offenses against the laws of the 
State”. At least half of the Ten 
Commandments are on the statute 
books in one form or another. 

These facts have led to the 
formulation of the maxim that 
“Christianity is a part of the law of 
the land” (Religious Liberty, page 
533.) 

58. The constitutional legal system confers 
positive aid upon religious societies by exempting 
their property from taxation. 

The United States generally prohibits by law or by 
Court interpretation of State constitutions, 
sectarian instruction in public schools. Private 
schools are allowed great freedom in organisation 
and programme. There is a growing conviction 
about the importance of imparting religious 
instruction in the building up of character and 
giving values in life and a demand is being made 
for the imparting of religious and moral education 
of a non-controversial type in State schools. 

In the words of Dr. Zollman: 

If there is any one thing which is 
well settled in the policies and 
purposes of the American people 
as a whole, it is the fixed and 
unalterable determination that there 
shall be an absolute and 
unequivocal separation of Church 




and State, and that our public 
school system supported by the 
taxation of the property of all alike- 
Catholic, Protestant, Jew, gentile, 
believer and infidel-shall not be 
used directly or indirectly for 
religious instruction, and, above all, 
that it shall not be made an 
instrumentality of proselyting 
influence in favour of any religious 
organisation, sect, creed, or 
belief.” [Religions Liberty, p. 339.] 

59. We have so far dealt with the countries under 
the sway of Christianity with reference to the 
religious liberty that their constitutions allow. Let 
us now deal in passing with the countries where 
Buddhism is the dominant religion. They are 
Japan and China. 

Article XXVIII of the Constitution of JAPANESE 
EMPIRE reads thus: 

“Japanese subjects shall, within 
limits of law, not prejudicial to 
peace and order and not 
antagonistic to their duties as 
subjects, enjoy freedom of religious 
belief.” 

Religious freedom is limited to belief. It is to be 
exercised within limits of law of the land and 
consistent with the duties of the individual to the 
State as its subject. (Religious Liberty, p. 49.) 

The idea about the Emperor of Japanese Empire 
as something of the divine is peculiar to the 
Japanese. In the words of a distinguished 
member and officer of the Diet, “He (the Emperor) 
is to the Japanese mind the Supreme Being in the 
Cosmos of Japan, as God is in the universe of the 
Pantheistic philosopher. From him everything 

emanates, in him everything subsists.He is 

supreme in temporal affairs of the State as well as 
in all spiritual matters.’’-[Religious Liberty, p. 51.] 




Shinto is the State religion. In the words of 
Professor Genchi Kato,- 

“This is not a religion adopted 
purposely by the State as are the 
State religions in the West, but the 
religion of the heart and life of every 
Japanese, male and female, high 
and low, old and young, educated 
and illiterate. For this reason a 
Japanese never ceases to be 
Shintoist, an inborn and steadfast 
holder of the national faith of the 
way of the Gods as a group 
religion, as distinguished from a 
personal or individual religion, even 
though he may adopt the tenets of 
Buddhism or Confucianism- 
probably Christianity in Japan has 
not been excepted--as his personal 
or individual religion. In effect, this 
means that rejection of Shinto by a 
Japanese would signify treachery to 
the Empire and disloyalty to its 

Divine Ruler.The Emperor is 

incarnate Deity and occupies in the 
Japanese faith the position which 

Jehovah occupied in Judaism. 

We cannot pass over the fact that 
these ceremonials (at the shrines) 
are accompanied by a faith in the 
divine aid of a great spiritual 
power.”-[Religious Liberty, page 51.] 

“Private religions”, says Searle Bates, “may be 
cherished in addition but not in conflict; in 
subordination to the State religion, not in absolute 
allegiance.” 

All education in Japan is dominated by the 
Imperial Prescript on Education. The elementary 
schools of the State are compulsory and 
universal, with uniform text-books prepared by the 
Department of Education. Secondary and higher 
schools, public and private, vary somewhat in 
type but not in programme and directive in so far 
as civic and moral education are concerned. 





60. We now come to CHINA. To quote Searle 
Bates,- 

“China is essentially a secular 
country, say some, a country of 
diffuse and diverse religions, say 
others.” 

Article 15 of the Constitution says: 

“Every citizen shall have freedom of 
religious belief; such freedom shall 
not be restricted except in 
accordance with the Law.”- 
[Religious Liberty, page 510.] 

61. There is no dominant religious faith in working 
relation to the State. The social and ethical 
teaching of Confucianism are widely influential in 
the cultural nationalism of the country. The 
Buddhist religion has been accepted into the 
general culture. Confucianism, Buddhism, 
Mohammedanism and Christianity are the 
established religions in China. There is a 
constitutional pledge to religious freedom. 

Despite multiplicity of religious faiths, China is 
known as “a land of tolerance and social 
harmony”. 

China has no religious instruction in the public 
system and refuses recognition to elementary or 
junior or middle schools which impart religious 
instruction. Senior middle school and colleges 
may have elective course in religion and religious 
exercises. The official position is summarised in 
the following Government reply to a petition 
submitted by twelve church bodies for permission 
to impart religious instruction in private schools:- 

To sum up, there is not only one 
religion. If we allow each religion in 
the name of education to vie one 
with another to propagate religion, 
the natural tendency will be to 
create division and strife. The 



Ministry of Education, in order to 
guard against such a possible 
future calamity, is obliged to impose 
these restrictions which do not 
apply only to Christianity but to the 
other religions as well. 

Hence, to have elective religious 
courses in junior middle schools 
and to have the privilege of worship 
in primary schools embodies 
obstacles too difficult to permit the 
Ministry to grant the request.”- 
[Religious Liberty, page 343.1 

62. We have dealt above with Religious Liberty as 
provided under the constitutions of countries 
under Christian and Budhist domination. Let us 
now have just a passing review of the Religious 
Liberty in the Muslim countries. 

ISLAM controls the entire life of the Muslims. 
According to Islamic conception, “Church, State 
and the Community are one entity”. “Orthodox 
Islam”, writes M. Searle Bates, (P. 9) “is the 
contrary on religious liberty and finds no room for 
the concept as developed in Western lands. In 
principle it forbids apostasy under dire penalty 
and provides for change of faith only toward 
Islam.” Another English writer S. A. Morrison 
writes in his book “Religious Liberty in the Near 
East” as follows:- 

“Freedom of religion in the Near 
East has been commonly 
understood to mean freedom of 
worship, that is. the right of each 
community to conduct its religious 
services in its own way without 

official interference. 

The wider meaning of religious 
freedom, implying the right to 
persuade others or to change one’s 
faith, has never gained general 
acceptance”. 




The writer goes on- 


“Nothing arouses the resentment of 
Muslim officials and of public 
opinion so much as the mention of 
Christian evangelistic work 
(tabsheer). On the other hand, 
every facility is given to pro-lslamic 
propaganda, and governments 
themselves lend their support to it, 
as an adjunct to their policy of 
nationalism. The way is made easy 
for conversion from Judaism and 
Christianity to Islam, and various 
inducements financial or 
matrimonial, are dangled before the 
potential convert. Economic 
discrimination against members of 
minority groups in the Government 
service and in private firms has 
been a potent factor in many so- 
called conversions. (Religious 
Liberty in the Near East, pp. 9-10). 

Illustrating this point, M. Searle Bates points out 
that IRAN forbids religious propaganda in general 
and absolutely prohibits “proselytizing” of minors. 
The law of the land assures freedom of worship 
but permits meeting only in churches, not even in 
private houses. (Religious Liberty by Bates, p. 

10 .) 

63. EGYPT’S constitution declares that “Islam is 
the religion of the State”. A Royal decree is 
necessary for the building of a church. The 
TURKISH Constitution allows freedom of service 
and provides that “no one can be disturbed on 
account of the religion, rite, or sect to which he 
belongs, nor for the philosophic opinions which he 
professes. All ritualistic ceremonies which are not 
contrary to the public order or morals, or 
inconsistent with the law, are authorized.” The 
civil code of Turkey declares that adults of 
eighteen years and over are free to adhere to the 
religion of their choice. Proselytising in general is 
severely discouraged, and in the case of the 
young it is kept far outside of practical 



possibilities. (Religious Liberty, pp. 10, 13.) 


Death penalty for apostasy from Islam is 
presumed to be still effective in parts of 
Afghanistan and Central Arabia. 

64. Writing about religious freedom in education 
S. A. Morrison says in his gook on page 9: 

“It is perhaps in the field of 
education that Christian missionary 
work has been most resented, 

Muslim Governments claiming that 
it is their duty to protect Muslim 
children from exposure to the 
teaching of a religion other than 
their own. Thus the parents are 
denied the right of deciding the form 
of religious education which their 
children shall receive. Some Near 
East Governments have gone 
further in requiring instruction in 
Islam for Muslim pupils in all 
schools.”. 

For example, in Egypt teaching a pupil a religion 
other than his own while he is still a minor and 
incapable of true discernment, is declared as an 
offence against public order and morals. The 
teaching of Islam according to prescribed 
syllabus, to all Muslim students, whether reading 
in Government or Mission schools, is compulsory 

The fundamental position, of the Government of 
Egypt is well-stated in a circular of the Ministry of 
Education, issued in 1940. 

“Without question, to teach a pupil a 
religion other than his own, while fie 
is a minor and incapable of true 
discernment, is an offence against 
public order and morals. No State 
which recognizes its duties towards 
its subjects for the protection of 
their religious beliefs approves it. 

The freedom guaranteed to 




religions beliefs does not approve it, 
either. This freedom is undermined 
if an educational institution seeks to 
influence young pupils by teaching 
them beliefs other than their own”. 
(Religious Liberty, p. 12 by Bates). 

“The medical, social and 
educational work of foreign 
missions”, says S. A. Morrison, in 
his book, “is generally appreciated 
so long as it is felt to be divorced 
from any religious or political 
objective. If, however, there is 
suspicion that foreign missions are 
the agents of a foreign political 
power, or of a foreign culture, or are 
actively propagating the Christian 
faith, steps are usually taken to 
curtail their freedom. Direct 
limitations may be imposed in the 
name of public order, or because 
Christian missionary work may be 
said to contravene “good morals.” 
Alternatively, the restriction may be 
indirect, through the control of visas 
or transfer of money from abroad”. 
(Religious Liberty, in the Near East 

p. 10). 

65. “In Muslim eyes”, writes S. A. Morrison, on 
page 9 of the same book, “the apostate is traitor, 
both to his religion and to his community.” The 
spirit of nationalism which has emerged in the 
countries of Middle Last also as a result of secular 
spirit prevailing in the advanced countries of the 
West, lays emphasis on the necessity of 
“National Unity, based on a common culture,” 
and whether the basis of this Unity was sought in 
race, as in Turkey, or in religion, as in most other 
Muslim countries, “Christian and Jewish minorities 
with their different culture came to be regarded as 
elements of weakness within the national 
organism”. 


“Fear of all forms of western 
imperialistic penetration in the Near 



East, Political, economic or cultural 
is another factor that has affected 
adversely the position of the 
minorities”, says S. A. Morrison. 

66. There exists at present a deep-rooted 
suspicion of foreign imperialism in the minds of 
the people of the Near East countries and only 
too often their belief is that, directly or indirectly, 
missions are the agents of a foreign Government. 
Government of the Near East countries are, in 
particular, “suspicious of foreign educational 
institutions, lest these be used for either religious 
or political propaganda”. 

“Belief in religious liberty”, says S. A. Morrison, 
“was the result of a long drawn-out struggle in 
western countries. That struggle is as yet in its 
early stages in Muslim lands. Some Muslims 
have caught the vision, and would hasten its 
realisation by the complete separation of religion 
and politics. 

“The major issue in Near East countries today is”, 
Says S. A. Morrison, “whether they will follow the 
road of modern democracy towards equality of all 
citizens, irrespective of their race or religion, or 
whether they will cling to the Orthodox Muslim 
conception of the superiority in all aspects of life 
of the Muslim over the non-Muslim”. 

67. Such in brief are the constitutional provisions 
pertaining to religious liberty in the various 
countries. In the next chapter we shall consider 
the position pertaining to the Religious Liberty 
under the constitution of Free India. 


CHAPTEIR. II.-RELIGIOUS LIBERTY UNDER 
THE INDIAN CONSTITUTION 

India having deliberately decided to follow the 
road of modern democracy towards equality of all 
citizens irrespective of their race or religion, it will 
be interesting to examine the extent of religious 
liberty permitted by the Constitution of India. 



2. The Preamble to the Constitution secures to all 
its citizens: 

(a) Justice, social, economic and 
political. 

(b) Liberty of thought, expression, 
belief, faith and worship. 

(c) Equality of status and of 
opportunity, without any distinction 
of caste, creed or colour. 

3. Religions liberty guaranteed under the 
Constitution is dealt with under more than one 
heading viz: 

(a) Freedom of conscience, of free 
profession, practice and 
propagation of religion. 

(b) Freedom to manage religious 
affairs. 

(c) Freedom to establish and 
administer educational institutions. 

4. Freedom vouchsafed by the Constitution under 
the above headings is, however, not absolute but 
is subject to certain restrictions deemed essential 
in the interest of the welfare of the State. Thus, 
article 25 (I) lays down that the freedom of 
conscience and the right freely to profess, 
practice and propagate religion is subject to 
“public order, morality and health”. Paragraph 2 
of the same article further lays down that “Nothing 
in this article shall affect the operation of any 
existing law or prevent the State from making any 
law regulating or restricting any economic, 
financial, political, or other secular activity which 
may be associated with religious practice.” 
Similarly, article 26 of the Constitution contains a 
provision to the effect that “The right to establish 
and maintain institutions for religious and 



charitable purposes and to own and administer 
movable and immovable property acquired for the 
above purposes and even the right to manage its 
own affairs in matters of religion is subject to 
public order, morality and health.” The 
administration of property is further subject to the 
law of the land. 

5. The State, not being wedded to any one 
religion, follows a policy of religious neutrality in 
the matter of education. Article 28 (1) of the 
Indian Constitution lays down: 

“No religious instruction shall be 
provided in any educational 
institution wholly maintained out of 
State funds.” 

Private bodies, however, have been guaranteed 
freedom to establish and administer educational 
institutions of their own choice and to impart 
religious instruction therein subject to the 
“Conscience Clause”. Article 28 (3) runs as 
follows:- 

“No person attending any 
educational institution recognised 
by the State or receiving aid out of 
State funds shall be required to 
take part in any religious instruction 
that may be imparted in such 
institution or to attend any religious 
worship that may he conducted in 
such institution or in any premises 
attached thereto unless such 
person or, if such person is a minor, 
his guardian has given his consent 
thereto.” 

The doors of both the State and the Government- 
aided private schools are open alike to all the 
citizens. Admission to these Temples of 
Knowledge cannot be refused on the basis of 
“religion, race, caste, language, or any of them”. 
Article 29 (2) says: 



“No citizen shall be denied 
admission into any educational 
institution maintained by the State 
or receiving aid out of State funds 
on grounds only of religion, race, 
caste, language or any of them.” 

6. The Constitution of India provides against 
discrimination in administration on the basis of 
religion. Article 15 (1) says: 

“The State shall not discriminate 
against any citizen on grounds only 
of religion, race, caste, sex, place of 
birth or any of them.” 

Similarly, article 16 (1) and (2) provides for 
equality of opportunity to all citizens in the matter 
of public employment. It says: 

“There shall be equality of 
opportunity for all citizens in matters 
relating to employment or 
appointment to any office under the 
State. 

(2) No citizen shall, on grounds only 
of religion, race, caste, sex, 
descent, place of birth, residence or 
any of them, be ineligible for, or 
discriminated against in respect of, 
any employment or office under the 
State. 

In the matter of award of grant-in-aid to 
denominational educational institutions, 
discrimination on the basis of religion is ruled out 
under the Constitution. Article 30 (1) runs thus: 

“The State shall not, in ranting aid 
to educational institutions, 
discriminate against any 
educational institution on the 
ground that it is under the 
management of a minority whether 
based on religion or language.” 



7. In considering the Fundamental Rights given 
under the Constitution one should not forget its 
preamble. The preamble is not like the preambles 
of other ordinary Acts. It is a solemn declaration 
of our whole purpose. In fact it is the very seed 
which has sprouted, grown into mighty tree and 
borne fruits in the subsequent Chapters and 
Articles of the Constitution. 

This preamble, as has been quoted in the 
beginning, says that: 

“We, the people of India.give to ourselves 

this Constitution in order to secure to all its 
citizens Justice, Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.” 

There is no doubt that a Constitution though 
mainly meant for its citizens has also to provide 
for foreigners living within its territory. Our 
Constitution has also done that. But a distinction 
has to be drawn between the rights available to 
its citizens and those available to a foreigner; 
even as the duties towards the State of citizen 
and a foreigner are not the same. Quite a 
number of provisions are undoubtedly applicable 
to all persons residing in. the country irrespective 
of the fact whether they are Indian Nationals or 
aliens. For example, article 14 of the Constitution 
declares that “the State shall not deny to any 
person equality before the law or the equal 
protection of the laws within the territory of India.” 
The safety of persons and personal property of all 
persons, citizens or non-citizens, are guaranteed 
under Article 20, 21,22 and 31 of the 
Constitution. Article 25 likewise guarantees 
freedom of conscience to all the inhabitants of the 
State. There are, however, some other provisions 
of the Constitution which confer rights exclusively 
on the citizens of India. Thus, under Article 19(1) 
certain rights regarding freedom of the individual 
appertain to citizens only. The article is given 
below:- 


(i) All citizens shall have the right- 




(a) to freedom of speech and 
expression; 

(b) to assemble peaceably and 
without arms; 

(c) to form associations or unions; 

(d) to move freely throughout the 
territory of India; 

(e) to reside and settle in any part 
of the territory of India 

(f) to acquire, hold and dispose of 
property; and 

(g) to practise any profession, or to 
carry on any occupation, trade or 
business. 

The “Seven Freedoms” guaranteed under Article 
19 (1) are, however, subject to five limitations 
contained in clauses (2) to (6) of the same 
Article. These restrictions may be imposed by the 
“State” Legislatures in the interest of the security 
of State, public order, decency or morality, 
protection of Scheduled Tribes, etc. 

The distinction made in the Constitution between 
citizen and non-citizen has an important bearing 
on the rights and duties of the foreigners, and 
have special significance for the purpose of our 
enquiry. 

8. We have quoted in this chapter constitutional 
provisions relating to religious liberty in India. In 
the foregoing chapter we dealt with the facts of 
religious liberty under the respective constitutions 
of other countries. A comparative study discloses 
that, viewed in the light of religious liberty, the 
countries of the world may be divided under two 
main categories, viz.- 

(1) Theocratic States, i.e., those 
having State religion. 

(2) Secular States, i.e., those 
having no State religion. 

By the very nature of things there are likely to be 
discriminations and preferences, whether overt or 
covert, in favour of the State religion in the States 



under the first category. Followers o the State 
religion enjoy rights and privileges which are 
denied to others. The principle of equality of all 
religions cannot, therefore, fully operate in these 
States. 

An overwhelmingly large majority of Islamic and 
many of the Christian countries fall under this 
category 

9. Secular States may be further sub-divided into 
two classes, viz.- 

(a) Those where the very idea of 
religion is hated and discarded as a 
dangerous thing. 

(b) Where religion as such is 
respected. 

In the former countries it can be said that religions 
liberty has no place, not for the reason that the 
State is wedded to any particular religion and 
therefore, there is leaning of the State in favour of 
that religion, but for the reason that all religions 
ate looked upon with disfavour. There is, 
therefore, no freedom for any religion. 

Communist countries would fill under this 
category. 

In countries under the second heading, there is 
equal regard for all religions and no discrimination 
in favour of any one. The followers of all religions 
are allowed freedom to profess and practise a 
religion of their choice subject to certain 
qualifications (e.g., public order) applicable to the 
followers of all religions without any distinction. 

India falls under the second heading. There is no 
doubt that there is a multiplicity of religions in 
India. But India seeks “unity in diversity”. It is 
only through a “reverential approach” to faiths 
other than one’s own that one can realise “the 
principle of equality of all religions”. 


We can do no better than quote from Mahatma 



Gandhi’s writings about the need of the hour: 


“The need of the moment is not one 
religion, but mutual respect and 
tolerance of the devotees of the 
different religions. We want to 
reach not the dead level, but unity 
in diversity. Any attempt to root out 
traditions, effects of heredity, 
climate and other surroundings is 
not only bound to fail but is a 
sacrilege. The soul of religions is 
one, but it is encased in a multitude 
of forms. The latter will persist to 
the end of time.” (Christian 
Missions, p. 34, Nova Jivan Press). 

10. Following this dictum of the Father of the 
Nation, the framers of the Constitution, in their 
anxiety to preserve the secular nature of our 
State, have guaranteed equality to all religions. 
But if the followers of any one religion deny it not 
only in their mental attitude but in their outward 
conduct and behaviour, then it becomes the duty 
of the State to keep an eye on the religions 
activities of the votaries of different religions and 
to step in wherever there is any misuse of their 
rights threatening public order or solidarity of 
country. This is an obligation imposed by the 
Constitution. 

11. This is borne out from the discussions that 
took place in the Constituent Assembly when this 
Article 25 of the Constitution (Article 19 of the 
Draft Constitution) was being considered. 

Dealing with the scope of Article 25 (then Article 
19) Shri K. Santhanam, Lieut. Governor of 
Vindhya Pradesh, then a member of the Drafting 
Committee, spoke as follows:- 

“Sir, I stand here to support this 
article. This article has to be read 
with Article 13. Article 13 has 
already assured freedom of speech 
and expression and the right to 
form association or unions. The 



above rights include the right of 
religious speech and expression 
and the right to form religious 
association or unions. 

“Therefore, Article 19 is really not 
so much an article on religious 
freedom but an article on what I 
may call religious toleration. It is 
not so much the words “all persons 
are equally entitled to freedom of 
conscience and the right freely to 
profess, practise and propagate 
religion” that are important; what 
are important are the governing 
words with which the article begins, 
viz., “Subject to public order, 
morality and health.” 

“Hitherto it was thought in this 
country that anything in the name of 
religion must have the right to 
unrestricted practice and 
propagation. But we are now in the 
new Constitution restricting the right 
only to that right which is consistent 
with public order, morality and 
health. The full implications of this 
qualification are not easy to 
discover. Naturally they will grow 
with the growing social and moral 
conscience of the people. For 
instance, I do not know if for a 
considerable period of time the 
people of India will think that purdah 
is consistent with the health of the 
people. Similarly, there are many 
institutions of Hindu religion which 
the future conscience of the Hindu 
community will consider as 
inconsistent with morality. 

“Sir, some discussion has taken 
place on the word ‘propagate’. 

After all, propagation is merely 
freedom of expression. I would like 
to point out that the word ‘convert’ 



is not there. Mass conversion was 
a part of the activities of the 
Christian Missionaries in this 
country and great objection has 
been taken by the people to that. 
Those who drafted this constitution 
have taken care to see that no 
unlimited right of conversion has 
been given. People have freedom 
of conscience and, if any man is 
converted voluntarily 

owing.to freedom of 

conscience, then well and good. 

No restrictions can be placed 
against it. But if any attempt made 
by one religious community or 
another to have mass conversions 
through undue influence either by 
money or by pressure or by other 
means, the State has every right to 
regulate such activity. Therefore, I 
submit to you that this article, as it 
is, is not so much an article 
ensuring freedom, but toleration for 
all, irrespective of the religious 
practice or profession. And this 
toleration is subject to public order, 
morality and health. 

“Therefore, this article has been 
very carefully drafted and the 
exceptions and qualifications are as 
important as the right it confers. 
Therefore, I think the article as it 
stands is entitled to our 
wholehearted support.” (pages 834- 
835, Draft Constitution-Constituent 
Assembly of India, 6th December 
1948 Debates, Volume II). 

A/.B.-Article 13 of the Draft 
Constitution corresponds to Article 
19 of the Constitution. 


12. Although the question relevant to our enquiry 
regarding religious freedom has probably not 
come up for decision before our High Courts and 




the Supreme Court of India, yet the interpretation 
of Article 25 of the Constitution came before the 
High Court of Bombay in a different context. And 
it may not be out of place to quote the following 
observation from their judgment in Civil 
Application No. 880 and Miscellaneous 
Application No. 212 of 1952, dated the 12th 
September 1952, reported in A.I.R. 1953, 
Bombay, page 242. Chagla, Chief Justice says:- 

“(4) It may be said that both Articles 
25 and 26 deal with religious 
freedom, but, as I shall presently 
point out, religious freedom, as 
contemplated by our Constitution, is 
not unrestricted freedom. The 
religious freedom which has been 
safeguarded by the Constitution is 
religious freedom which must be 
envisaged in the context of a 
secular State. It is not every aspect 
of religion that has been 
safeguarded nor has the 
Constitution provided that every 
religious activity cannot be 
interfered with.” (page 244). 

“Article 25 protects religious 
freedom as far as individuals are 
concerned. The right is not only 
given to the citizens of India but to 
all persons, and the right is to 
profess, practise and propagate 
religion. But here again the right is 
not an unrestricted right. It is a right 
subject to public order, morality and 
health, and further it permits the 
State to make any law regulating or 
restricting any economic, financial, 
political or other secular activity, 
although it may be associated with 
religious practice, and there is a 
further right given to the State and 
that is that the State can legislate 
for social welfare and reform even 
though in doing so it may interfere 
with the profession, practice and 



propagation of religion by an 
individual.” (page 244.) 

13. In the same judgment, Justice Shah says - 

“Article 25 has conferred upon the 
citizens and others residing within 
the State freedom to profess, 
practise and propagate religion. 

That is subject to the legislative 
power of the State Legislature to 
legislate so as to regulate or restrict 
the activity of any person which 
may be associated with religious 
practices. The right, therefore, 
which is conferred by Article 25 is 
not an absolute or unfettered right 
of freedom of professing or 
practising or propagating religion, 
but it is subject to legislation by the 
State limiting or regulating any 
activity, economic, financial, 
political or secular, associated with 
religious practice. Similarly, that 
right is also subject to the social 
welfare and reform legislation of the 
State. Therefore, Article 25, while 
conferring a right upon the citizens 
and other freely to profess, practise, 
and propagate their religion, does 
not confer upon the citizens and 
others an unfettered right to carry 
on economic, financial, political or 
secular activities in association with 
religious practices, nor does it 
prevent the State from passing any 
legislation for purposes of social 
welfare and reforms, even though 
such legislation might directly or 
indirectly be inconsistent with the 
religious beliefs of some of the 
religious denominations.” (page 252- 
A). 


14. It may also be interesting to quote the 
following passages occurring in the judgment, 
dated the 16th March 1954, of the Supreme Court 



reported in A.I.R. 1954 S.C. 282:- 


“We may refer in this connection to 
a few American and Australian 
cases, all of which arose out of the 
activities of persons connected with 
the religious association known as 
‘Jehovah’s witnesses’. This 
association of persons, loosely 
organised throughout Australia, 

United States of America and other 
countries, regard the literal 
interpretation of the Bible as 
fundamental to proper religious 
beliefs. This belief in the supreme 
authority of the Bible colours many 
of their political ideas. They refuse 
to take oath of allegiance to the 
king or other constituted human 
authority and even to show respect 
to the national flag, and they decry 
all wars between nations and all 
kinds of war activities. 

“In 1941, a company of ‘Jehovah’s 
witnesses’ incorporated in Australia 
commenced proclaiming and 
teaching matters which were 
prejudicial to war activities and the 
defence of the Commonwealth, and 
steps were taken against them 
under the National Security 
Regulations of the State. The 
legality of the action of the 
Government was questioned by 
means of a writ petition before the 
High Court and the faith Court held 
that the action of, the Government 
was justified and that S. 116 which 
guaranteed freedom of religion 
under the Australian Constitution, 
was not in any way infringed by the 
National Security Regulation”-vide 
67C.L.R. 116 at page 127 (H). 

These were undoubtedly political activities though 

arising out of religions belief entertained by a 



particular community. 


15. “In such cases”, as Latham C. J. pointed out, 
“the provision for protection of religion was not an 
absolute protection to be interpreted and applied 
independently of other provisions of the 
Constitution. These privileges must he reconciled 
with the right of the State to employ the sovereign 
power to ensure peace, security and orderly living 
without which constitutional guarantee of civil 
liberty would be a mockery.” (pages 290-291 A.I. 
R., Supreme Court, 1954). 


CHAPTER lll.-MISSIONARY ACTIVITIES IN 
MADHYA PRADESH SINCE INDEPENDENCE 
AS DISCLOSED BY ORAL AND 
DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE 

The dawn of Independence saw India on the 
threshold of a new era. Widespread efforts at 
political, economic and social reforms were 
initiated. The nation’s particular keenness on 
securing for all minorities including Christians a 
place of genuine honour and importance was 
immediately noticed in the Drift Constitution. 
Notwithstanding the unpleasant memories 
associated with the advent of the Western 
Christian Missionary activities in India and the 
methods used by foreigners under a foreign 
Government, notwithstanding that in the fight for 
Independence Christians as a whole had little or 
no share, apart from a man here or a man there, 
in spite of bitter memories of the partition of the 
country on the basis of religion and in spite of the 
pleadings of some of the powerful parties in the 
country, our rich and ancient culture and 
civilization found natural expression in the words 
of our Prime Minister, “As long as I am at the 
helm of affairs India will not become a Hindu 
State” (India’s Minorities, page 21). A truly 
secular and democratic State was set up. In the 
land of about 350 millions, most of whom are 
Hindus by religion, a place of honour was assured 
to a minority of about 10 millions. 

2. It is not without reason that the majority 



community in India today thinks that the minority 
sentiments should respond to the large¬ 
heartedness and liberal gesture of the framers of 
the Constitution to make India strong and 
progressive. The attitude of the minorities may 
not have been very helpful in the past, backdoor 
methods to sabotage the national movement may 
have been used, but the country expected that 
after Independence there would be perfect 
harmony with and trust in the majority. This hope 
was further fortified by the withdrawal by Indian 
Christians of their claim to have separate 
electorates in certain provinces. On the ground 
that reservation of seats implied lack of 
confidence in the majority community, 
representatives of the Indian Christians declared 
before the Constituent Assembly that they were 
not in favour of such reservations, and 
consequently on the 28th May, 1949 the 
Constituent Assembly abolished reservation of 
seats for all minorities except Harijans and 
Tribals. But within a short time of the passing of 
the Constitution reports of undesirable activities, 
chiefly at the instance of foreign Missionaries, 
started pouring in from different parts of India. On 
the other bind, it was urged on behalf of the 
Christian Community that the guarantees 
provided in the Constitution were not being 
followed by certain State Governments and that 
Christian Missionaries were being harassed in the 
exercise of their rights to propagate their religion. 
It is, therefore, our purpose to see what the facts 
are as disclosed in the oral and documentary 
evidence gathered by us. 

3. We have mentioned elsewhere that a sudden 
fillip was given to Missionary activities after the 
passing of the Constitution. We shall deal with the 
evidence which has been brought before us to 
indicate the extent of foreign assistance received 
by the various Missions. 

Foreign Money 


From January 1950 to June 1954 a sum of Rs. 
29.27 crores of rupees had been received in 



India. The details are as below:- 


U. S. A. 


20,68,63,000 

Canada 


1,67,56,000 

Belgium 


6,47,000 

Denmark 


33,91,000 

France 


7,61,000 

Germany 


11,16,000 

Norway 


27,97,000 

Sweden 


64,41,000 

Switzerland 


15,77,000 

Aid received from the 
non-sterling area 


14,72,000 





Total 

24,18,21,000 




From sterling area U. 

K. 

4,83,89,000 } 


Rest of the sterling 
area 

25,29,000 } 

5,09,18,000 





Grand Total 

29,27,39,000 


This was the information supplied by Government 
of India as based on the figures compiled from 
the statistics maintained by the Reserve Bank. 

4. In the absence of appropriate and requisite 
material, it is not possible to ascertain the exact 
proportion of the amount that flows into Madhya 
Pradesh. But one can broadly find the heads 
under which it is presumably expended. 

5. In our exploratory tour it was disclosed by Rev. 
Lakra at Kusmi on the 10th June, 1954 at the 
morning session that in the year 1953 he had 
received Rs. 60,000 for five provinces from the 
Lutheran World Federation at Geneva and that 
through the American Board of his Lutheran 
Mission he obtained Rs. 90,000 from U. S. A. to 
meet the expenses, of one year’s activity in the 
Surguja area. Rev. Ekka explained at Ambikapur 
on the 11th June 1954 that the sum of Rs. 90,000 
































had reference to a special building programme. 

In the Chhindwara district we visited the 
Danielson High School and gathered that the 
expenditure of the school was Rs. 33,000 per 
annum out of which Rs. 9,613 was received from 
the Church and the rest from Government by way 
of grant and subsidy. At Achalpur we were 
informed that in the Leper Asylum at Kothara the 
total budget expenditure was met by a grant of 
RS. 33,000 from the Mission and Rs. 39,000 from 
the State Government and the income from 
agriculture. At Bihar, out of an expenditure of Rs. 

1,100 in connection with a school Rs. 600 were 
the Mission’s contribution. At Jabalpur the total 
expenditure of the Girls Training College in 1953 
was approximately Rs. 1,02,000 and the deficit 
amounting to somewhere between Rs. 13,000 to 
Rs. 15,000 was met by a donation received from 
the American Mission. The school had also 
received a donation for building up to Rs. 

4,00,000 between 1949-51 from the Methodist 
Mission. 

6. Dr. E. Emanuel, the Secretary of the Methodist 
Church of Southern Asia, stated that the Bishops 
in the Methodist Church were paid out of the 
Bishop’s Fund which was made up of 
contributions received from -many countries 
including America-. St. Paul’s High School, 
Raipur, which is run by the American Evangelical 
Mission received a grant of Rs. 16,000 to Rs. 
25,000 from the Government, and Rs. 30,000 to 
Rs. 35,000 from the Home Board of the Mission in 
America. Shri Biswas, Assistant Headmaster of 
the High School conducted by the Mennonite 
Mission, Dhamtari, stated that the amount of 
donation received from the Mission was Rs. 
12,000 to Rs. 15,000 for the Church and that it 
was out of that amount that the school was run. 
The donation to the church comes from America. 

7. At Bilaspur Rev. Maqbul Masih (Bilaspur-2) is 
the Coordinator of the Adhik Jeevan Yojana, i.e., 
Abundent Life Programme, under which his 
Mission, viz. The Disciples of Christ, runs a farm 
and a primary school. The money required for 
financing the activities is received from America. 



Dr. Donald T. Rice (Sagar 10) informed us that 
the annual budget of the rural development 
programme (Jeevan Tara) was Rs. 52,600 which 
came entirely from America. Rev. Coleman 
(Sagar 12) works within a radius of 15 miles and 
the budget of his Mission is about a lakh, half of 
which is contributed by Americans. In the 
women’s section at Takhatpur, Miss E. Shreive is 
the treasurer. At Mungeli, the hospital receives a 
subsidy of Rs. 4,800 from the Church of the 
Disciples of Christ in America. 

8. At Amravati (Hartman, No. 1), we were told that 
the Mission gave its subsidy to the synod to the 
extent that was necessary to meet its deficit. In 
Yeotmal district Rev. J. C. Nathar (No. 13) the 
Pastor of the Church at Umri, told us that the 
central fund of the Church had been getting some 
subsidy from the American Board for the 
expenses of the schools, hospitals and 
evangelistic work. Rev. Vasast Samudre, (No. 25) 
the Pastor of the Church at Yeotmal of the Free 
Methodist Mission, said that the seminary in 
which he was working as a teacher received a 
grant from America. In Buldana district we learnt 
from Rev. S. J. Bhujbal (No. 15) that 30 churches 
received subsidies from the Mission Fund in 
America. Rev. Raghuwel Chawhan (No. 2 
Khamgaon) the Pastor of the Church at Akola, 
which runs a Mission school at Khamgaon 
informed us that a subsidy for the school was 
received from the Christian and Missionary 
Alliance Church and that the deficit which arose in 
connection with the activities of the Church 
amounting to Rs. 13.000 had been met through 
the subsidy received from the Mission. 

9. Large amounts were received for evangelistic 
work in Surguja after it was thrown open for 
Missionary enterprise as a result of promulgation 
of the Constitution in January 1950. The Gossner 
Lutheran Mission opened a new Mission field in 
Surguja and employed a large number of 
preachers to go over the countryside for 
proselytization. The rate of proselytization from 
time to time is described in the issues of 
Gharbandhu from March 1952 to November 



1953. In the year 1952 the United Lutheran 
Church Mission gave a grant of 8,000 Dollars and 
in the year 1953, 20,000 Dollars i.e., Rs. 90,000 
(Gharbandhu November 1952, page 13 and 
November 1953, page 15). The work was begun 
in Surguja by the National Missionary Society 
(Lutheran) in the summer of 1951. Rev. B. J. 
Kripadanam was posted to Ambikapur and the 
first congregation was gathered at Ganjadad 
when 59 persons were baptised. In January 1952 
a special Surguja Board was set up under the 
auspices of the Federation of Evangelical 
Lutheran Churches in India. Dr. R. S. Oberly of 
the United Lutheran Church Mission was the 
treasurer and Rev. J. Lakra and Rev. C. J. Tirkey 
and Dr. R. M. Dunkelberger were the other 
members. The United Lutheran Church Mission 
gave a grant of 8,000 Dollars for the work of this 
body in 1952. Rev. Kripadanam reported that 12 
Uraon congregations had been established with a 
baptised membership of 1,010. Three Cossner 
Pastors, eighteen paid evangelists, four Bible 
women were put on this work. To compete with 
them the Roman Catholics had also thrown into 
their work a large number of priests and their 
helpers. The entire expenses of the Surguja field 
were met by the U. L. C. M. Board. (Gharbandhu, 
November 1952, page 12). 

10. At the meeting held on 6th and 7th of March 
1953, at Parvatipuram in Madras State, it was 
announced that the number of new converts was 
1,200 of both sexes and that there were 100 
pracharaks and seven priests working with Rev. 
Kripadanam and that 23 acres of land had been 
purchased at Ambikapur. It was also announced 
that the U.L.C.M. of America had sanctioned a 
grant of Rs. 90,000 for the year 1953 
(Gharbandhu, April 19.53, page 16). 

11. The scramble which arose as a result of 
competition between the Lutheran, Catholic and 
the Church of Christ Missions can well be 
described in the words of the report of Rev. C. J. 
Tirkey, published in the December issue of 
Gharbandhu, 1952, page 2. As there has been 
some disagreement as to the party which 



advanced money to induce proselytization, we 
think it advisable to reproduce the original Hindi 
version here: It is as follows:- 


""Xyga{ oXZ dhm§ admZm hm{H 
{$ oMam[S>m J'{. Ojg{ [hb{ J 
Xem©'m J'm h; oH$ dhm§ A {oS>' 

{ Kwg Am'{ Amja M§X A {S>ml H 
$m{ oVVa-o]VaoH$'mhj, 
AWm©V 2 dhm§ H{$ 5 KamZ{ H{$ 
ndmo_'ml H$m{ Amja EH$ aMmaH 
$ H$m{ ZH$Sw>]H$s ][oVn_m 
oX'mhj. ]rV{ _ohZ{ H{$ Qy>a J 
AY' A mB'ml H$m{ EZ g{ g_Pm' 

{ Wl Bgob'{ g] Xyga{ A mB© ]ohZ 
W§_ E { h0. [aYVw Om{ AJwd 
{ garl{ W{ CZH$m{ e['{ H$s bm{ A 
oXIm H$a Sw>]m oX'{ Amja 
VwaYV Vrg Vrg e['{ Vb[ X{Zm 
Amaa A H$a oX'm. A A r BZ AJwAml 
H{$ _Z e['{ H$s_m{hg{ ]YYm 
J'm hj. ]S>{ [nal_ H{$ gmW CZH 
$m{ A r bm;Q>mZm hj. MM© Am°\ 
$ 1 / 4 mBnQ> o_eZ H{$ A {oS>'{ e 
$[ H$m'©H$Vm©Aml H$m{ A] [ya 
{ ]nVr H$s OZVm oH$ d{ Hj$g{ H 
$[Q>r Amja N>ebr h0 AZw A d H$a 

ob'{ h0.am{_Zml 

Am;a e{\$a dmbml H$s Am{a H{$ 
T>mlJ EH$ aH$ma OZVm H{$ _Z 
J 0§M J'm hj Am;a CZH$m _Z 
gE' H$s Am{ a \{ $a ob'm J'm hj 
[aYVw Vmj A r K_mgmZ o A S>YV 
Mb hr ahm hj." 

The gist of it is that the other 
wolves, viz., competing Missions 
had entered the field and were 
scattering away (i.e., misleading) 
the Lambs. Some of the 
householders had been given 
Nakdubki (nominal baptism) but 
others who held out on account of 
greed had to he satisfied with 




immediate advance payment of Rs. 

30 each). 

12. How this programme of mass proselytization 
was inspired and financed by foreigners would be 
clear from the following extract which purports to 
be the report of the Surguja Board presented in 
January 1954 at Rajmundry: “As the informal 
meeting urged strongly that the Hill Tribe 
possibilities for which the Lutheran Church had 
the needed resources and personnel should be 
taken advantage of with the financial assistance 
from the West on the basis of “Partnership in 
Obedience”, the Lutheran National Missionary 
Society Council put the matter before Dr. F. A. 
Schiotz, Chairman of the Lutheran World 
Federation Commission on World Missions. The 
appeal was backed by certain influential non- 
Indian Missionary leaders, notably by the 
federation President Dr. C. W. Oberdorfer, with 
the result that the Commission on Younger 
Churches and Orphaned Missions (C. Y. C. O. 

M.) sent a timely grant of 1,500 dollars which 
enabled the Lutheran N. M. S. to secure the 

services of the needed Uraon personnel.As 

C. Y. C. O. M. could only help orphaned Missions 
and churches and not initiate any new work, the 
Chairman of the L. W. F. Commission was 
negotiating with the various Mission Boards and 
finally the U. L. C. M. Board, under the leadership 
of Dr. L. A. Gotwald, came forward to finance this 
work.” (The National Missionary Intelligencer, 

April 1954, pages 5-6). 

13. Rev. Joel Lakra, Principal, Theological 
College, Ranchi, who appeared before the 
Commission at Ambikapur, had been closely 
associated with the World Council of Churches. 

In 1948 lie attended the Conference of the World 
Council of Churches held at Amsterdam as a 
delegate of the Gossner Lutheran Church. Mr. 
Dulles was present at the session at Amsterdam, 
and read a paper there. At Geneva the offices of 
the Lutheran World Federation and the World 
Council of Churches are in the same compound, 
He said that although Germany was in Military 
occupation and no one could enter it without a 




passport he was allowed to enter without it. He 
could go to the American zone through the British. 

14. It may be recalled that the expression 
“Partnership in Obedience” came into vogue at 
the meeting of the Committee of the International 
Missionary Council held at Whitby in 1947 (page 
94, World Christian Handbook, 1952) and it has a 
bearing on the expression “need of particular 
churches to be rooted in the soil and yet 
supranational in their witness and 
obedience” (page 29, ibid). These particular 
churches are in the old Mission fields “which are 
touched by new nationalisms independent in 
temper and organisation and yet needing help 
from other churches (page 29, ibid). The 
expression “Partnership in Obedience” was being 
interpreted variously and it was after discussion at 
a meeting of the Lutheran World Federation 
Executive and also of the Executive of the World 
Council of Churches held at Geneva in 1951, that 
it came to be interpreted as implying full and 
unreserved co-operation between the old and the 
younger churches in the effort of extending the 
Kingdom of God. Rev. Lakra attended the 
meeting of the Federation and Dr. Manikam, 
Bishop Mandal and Rev. Yohan Massih attended 
the other meeting. The entire expenses of Rev. 
Lakra had been paid by America (Gharbandhu, 
October 1951, p. 6). 

15. It would appear from the above t hat as soon 
as Surguja became open for Missionary 
enterprise, on the promulgation of the 
Constitution of India, was a veritable invasion of 
the district by the Roman Catholics, Church of 
Christ Mission, and the Lutherans who were 
backed by ample finance from the Lutheran World 
Federation. 

16. It is interesting to see why the Lutherans 
appeared on the scene. The Lutherans are the 
most numerous of all she Protestant bodies, 
being strong in Germany, dominant in the 
Scandanavian country and very numerous in 
North America. “The Lutherans have permitted a 
stricter control of the Church by the State than 



any other Christian body” and that “at times the 
churches have become more closely associated 
with political parties and policies than is good for 
spiritual independence” (pages 15 and 18, Nature 
and Function of the Church, Part II, S.C.M. Series 
No. 13). 

17. In the world, the strength of Christians 
according to the various denominations is as 
below (p. 121, World Christian Hand-Book, 1952): 


Roman Catholics 

423,000,000 


(R. C. Directory, 1952, 
p. 593) 

Lutherans 

68,500,000 

Presbyterian and 
Reformed 

41,100,000 

Baptists 

40,000,000 

Methodists 

30,000,000 

Anglicans 

30,000,000 


The Committee of the International Missionary 
Council met in 1948, at Oegstgeest in 
Netherlands, and considered an important paper 
on the subject of Communist policy, and the 
Missionary movement and it resolved to extend 
and continue the orphaned Mission’s fund for 
another five years (pp. 94-95, World Christian 
Hand-book, 1952). 

From what has been stated above it would be a 
fair inference to draw that the sums which were 
received in Surguja came from the I. M. C. Fund. 

18. It is also clear that the activity in the Surguja 
district is not unrelated to the cold war strategy. 
The Christian Missions are instructed to present 
Christianity to Hindu culture “at its points of need” 
as early as possible in view of the possibility of 
Communist infiltration from within and pressure 
from without. (P. 14, World Christian Handbook, 
1952.) 











19. That foreign money has played a great part, 
from the very beginning of the Missionary 
enterprise in India, in securing proselytes from the 
poor classes, appears from the writings of Raja 
Ram Mohan Roy, who protested against 
exploitation “by a body of English gentlemen who 
were called Missionaries of the poor classes who 
are prompted by the desire of gain or any other 
motive” (Christian Proselytism in India, pages 87- 
88, by Parekh). 

20. Richter in his History of Christian Missions at 
page 171 records that many people became 
Christians to ensure their own advancement or 
obtain a higher salary or any other advantage. 

Dr. Pickett pays a tribute to the Christian Missions 
in these words: 

“Christian Missions have added to 
the wealth of India by the large 
sums of money which they imported 

from foreign lands.The 

economic benefits have come to 
many participants in Christian mass 

movement.This is not a fact 

that need be bidden or discussed in 
whispers. Considering how Jesus 
tried to meet the needs of the poor, 
healing diseases and other 
afflictions, feeding the hungry, 
etc.” (Christian Mass Movement in 
India, pp. 139 and 140). 

Dr. Mott, however, appears, to have 
taken a different view as he said, 

“Christ offered no inducement. He 
offered service and sacrifice” (p. 

240, Christian Missions Navajivan 
Press). When in 1936 Gandhiji 
made a remark that “Mammon had 
been sent to serve India and God 
has remained behind” Dr. Mott 
replied that money was stored-up 
personality. (Pages 235 and 245, 

Christian Missions.) 





21. Roland Allen at page 140 of The 
Spontaneous Expansion of the Church, says, “it is 
money, money everywhere, all the time, every 
thing depends upon money”; and in his 
Missionary Methods St. Paul’s or Ours, says at 
page 71 “it is sad to sit and watch a stream of 
Christian visitors calling upon a Missionary and to 
observe that in nearly every case the cause which 
brings them is money”. Even the National 
Christian Council is largely paid from abroad 
(page 13, World Christian Handbook, 1952). Dr. 
E. Asirvatham in Christianity in the Indian 
Crucible, page 41, says, “one chief reason why 
Indian Christians in general still welcome foreign 
Missionaries is economy; it is an open secret that 
the Indian Church is not yet out of the swaddling 
clothes, so far as its economic support is 
concerned. To give an extreme illustration, only 
Rs. 6,000 of the total income of Rs. 1,12,500 of 

the National Christian Council of India.is 

from Indian sources and the rest comes from the 
Mission Board abroad.” 

22. We are told that the Missions are now 
integrated with the Churches but it is clear from 
the evidence that the purse strings are in the 
hands of the foreign Missionaries. The 
headquarters of the Missions are stated to be in 
India and independent of foreign control, but there 
is a good number of foreign Missionaries on the 
managing bodies of the Churches. As the work of 
the Missionaries professedly is evangelistic, the 
money received by them from abroad is utilised in 
engaging a large number of preachers and 
teachers-cum-preachers. In our exploratory tour 
we were told that in the Surguja district the 
Lutheran Mission had 60 to 70 pracharaks, each 
getting Rs. 40 per month. Even in a small place 
like Basnal there were as many as 36 pracharaks 
working in three villages, each pracharak getting 
Rs. 35 to Rs. 40 per month. In Bilaspur, Tularam 
(Bilaspur, 14) was a pracharak receiving Rs. 82 
per month. According to him there were 4 
pracharaks within a radius of 6 miles. At Washim, 
Shri Dongardive told us that there were as many 
as 48 pracharaks, operating in the area of the 
Nazarene Church, and that the number of foreign 




Missionaries was 24, including women, and that 
all the expense involved in the preaching tour had 
been met out of the Mission fund. In Amravati 
district, there were 26 Missionaries with 12 Indian 
preachers whose pay varied from Rs. 60 to Rs. 
9.90 each. In Yeotmal, one of the pracharaks by 
name Moses David received Rs. 157 per month. 
John Gardia, who is a Christian Patel of village 
Jolkot, received as a preacher Rs. 60 per month. 
Solomon, a teacher at Dhamtari, said that under 
the Mennonite Church there were 6 or 7 
pracharaks who preached with the aid of 
flannelgraph, pictures and dramas. It is thus 
indisputably clear that financial assistance from 
abroad has been expanded in far more liberal 
manner than even before the Constitution of India 
was promulgated, and that it is mainly with this 
help that Mission organisations are carrying on 
prolytisation amongst back ward tribes, especially 
in areas freshly opened. 

Professionalism 

23. We will now consider how far this money is 
being used for religious work only. It. has been 
contended that most of the amount is utilised for 
creating a class of professional proselytisers, both 
foreign as well as Indian. We have not been able 
to get the figure of the salaries which the foreign 
Missionaries receive for their service in India. 

Only Rev. Hartman (Amravati No. 1) was pleased 
to declare that his salary was 63 dollars per 
month paid from Home, plus free quarters and 
vehicle allowance. One can have some idea of 
the scale of salaries of American Missionaries 
from the fact that in the American Evangelical and 
Reformed Church there are 28 Missionaries on 
the India roll and under the head of Missionary 
salaries and appurtenances the figure comes to 
90,072.23 Dollars (American Evangelistic and 
Reformed Church Blue Book, 1955, pages 56, 

60). They ire supplied with well-furnished 
bungalows, and they command resources in 
vehicles and other things. That the disparity 
between the scales of pay received by foreigners 
and Indians is great will be clear from the 
following observation occurring at page 101 of 



Christianity and the Asian Revolution in India: 

‘.all of them (Indians) are troubled by what 

are often glaring differences between the salaries 
and allowances given to foreign Missionaries and 
those received by national pastors, teachers, etc.” 

24. “Our evangelism in India” lays Rev. Ralla Ram 
(Ways of Evangelism, page 25) “rests so much on 
professionalism and wage earning. It has not 
become the natural expression of redeeming live; 
the cart of Evangelism goes creaking along, 
propelled and pushed along by gigantic foreign 
resources. We have forgotten the carpenters 
bench of the Master Himself and the tent-making 
trade of His servant Paul”. Roland Allen, on page 
146, Spontaneous Expansion of the Church, 
says: “We created this paid professional 
Missionary class, not to support spontaneous 
Missionary zeal on the part of our fellow 
countrymen, but to take the place of it; in the 
same wav we created a paid professional class of 
Mission agents among our converts not to support 
spontaneous expression of Missionary zeal, for 
we did not dream of it, but to take the place of it.” 

25. Thus it would appear that the foreign money, 
which flows into the country goes not merely to 
maintain some educational and medical 
institutions, but is largely shared by professional 
proselytisers, foreign and indigenous 

26. The strength of the foreign Missionary 
personnel in India in 1954-55 as compared with 
the previous years was as follows:- 


1940 

5,417 

In India including Pakistan. 



In India including Pakistan (page 404 

1947 

5,040 

Directory of Churches and Missions, 
1951.) 

1950 

4,744 

In India and Pakistan (Introduction 
ibid XV-page.) 

1951 

4,377 

In India only. 











1955 

4,877 

In India only (page 210 and 



Compiler’s introduction, page vii, 



Christian Hand-Book of India, 1954- 



55.) 


There was an excess of 500 (men 304 and wives 
and women 196). The increased personnel has 
occurred in the smaller Missions most of which do 
not yet have any organised churches associated 
with them. There has been a decrease in the 
older Missions and an increase in the newer 
ones. (Compiler’s Introduction, page vii ibid). 

27. At the beginning of 1954, there were 16.8 per 
cent more educational, evangelical and other 
workers than were present in India in 1949. 

During 1937-1947 there was a 24.7.per cent 
reduction in the total of those citizens of the 
United Kingdom engaged in foreign Missionary 
work. From 1947 to 1954 a further decrease of 
12 per cent is noted, (page 397, National 
Christian Council Review, September 1954). 

According to official information gathered by us in - 
Malaya Pradesh there are 480 foreigners working 
in the various Missions as follows:- 


1 . 

Americans 


236 

2. 

French 


59 

3. 

British 


54 

4. 

Swedish 


32 

5. 

Dutch 


29 

6. 

Germans 


17 

7. 

Swiss 


16 

8. 

Belgians 


13 

9. 

Spanish 


4 

10. 

Canadians 


6 

11. 

Irish 


3 

12. 

Scottish 


2 

13. 

Brazilians 


2 

14. 

Australian 


1 

15. 

Argentine 


1 

16. 

Finn 


1 































17. 

Portuguese 


1 

18. 

Italian 


1 

19. 

Hungarian 


1 

20. 

Denish 


1 







Total 

480 


They are distributed as follows in the districts 



Districts 

Total 

Americans 

1 . 

Nagpur 

55 

3 

2. 

Wardha 

4 


3. 

Chanda 

9 

1 

4. 

Chhindwara 

29 


5. 

Betul 

10 


6. 

JabalpurJabalpur 

41 

16 

7. 

Sagar 

18 

7 

8. 

Mandla 

17 


9. 

Hoshangabad 

17 

3 

10. 

Nimar 

21 

6 

11. 

Raipur 

39 

32 

12. 

Bilaspur 

59 

59 

13. 

Durg 

17 

15 

14. 

Bhandara 

1 


15. 

Balaghat 

3 

3 

16. 

Amravati 

51 

39 

17. 

Akola 

20 

15 

18. 

Buldana 

22 

22 

19. 

Yeotmal 

19 

15 

20. 

Bastar 

6 


21. 

Surguja 

8 


22. 

Raigarh 

14 







Total 

480 

236 


Besides those included in the number given by 
the National Christian Council in the Christian 
Handbook of India 1954-55, it appears from the 
statement of Rev. R. C. Das that there is a large 
number of unattached evangelists. Rev. Das’s 
statement receives support from the remark made 
in the Compiler’s introduction to the Christian 












































Hand-Book of India 1954-55 that the increased 
personnel has occurred in the smaller Missions 
most of which do not yet have any organised 
Churches. An organisation known as “Jehovah’s 
witnesses” at Jabalpur has sent us two pamphlets 
entitled “Christendom or Christianity” and “World 
Conquest Soon by God’s Kingdom”. In a 
pamphlet which has been widely circulated it is 
said “Oh how I wish that I could convey to you the 

desperate need of the hour.to bring the 

one billion souls to Christ.these invasion 

teams must be sent to all the nations of the 

world. 700 churches in India have invited Dr. 

Wyatt to take a team into that great country and 
begin to turn its needy millions into the Kingdom 
of God”. A pamphlet written by Dr. Thomas Wyatt 
entitled “Thunder Before Dawn” has come to our 
hand which shows that these teams are operating 
in India. 

This would show that the number actually in the 
country exceeds the statistical figures given 
above. 


WAYS OF EVANGELISM 

Schools, Hospitals and Orphanages. 

28. The media through which the Gospel is 
propagated are primarily the schools, hospitals 
and orphanages. 

Richter, in his History of Christian Missions, page 
317, says “A new day has dawned for India, the 

people clamour for education.Shall 

Missions keep themselves to themselves and 
leave this development to itself or shall they enter 
the lists and make themselves masters of the 
movement and use it as an instrument in their 
task of Christianising the whole land?” At page 
314 he declares, “Missions have neither a call nor 
a mandate to teach English literature, history, 
mathematics or natural science, the preaching of 
the Gospel to the heathen and the exercise of 
pastoral care over the relative churches is the 







head and front of all Missionary labour, and 
everything must be considered as pure waste 
which does not directly further this end.” In the 
same breath he mentions orphanages, Y.M.C.A., 
Medical Service and Mission to Lepers. 

29. Mr. Mayhew at page 160 of “Christianity and 
the Government of India” states that in the 
shaping of Government policy on education there 
was a tendency to identify the interests of the 
Government and the Christian Missions. In the 
Educational Despatch of Mr. Wood, known 
officially as the Education Charter of India (No. 

49, dated 19th July 1854), there was a clause in 
which it was said that with the growth of 
independent but aided educational institutions, 
the Government schools and colleges might be 
closed. Before the Educational Commission of 
1882 Dr. Mackichan, Principal of Wilson College, 
Bombay, contended on the basis of the above 
clause that the Government colleges in Bombay 
and Poona should be closed down. Principal 
Wordsworth of the Elphinston College, Bombay, 
firmly replied in these words: “The place left 
vacant by the Government would in actual fact be 
occupied in this country by those powerful 
religious bodies whose primary objects are rather 
religious conversions than intellectual 
improvement.” The Missionaries curiously 
contended that the Government by continuing its 
own institutions was violating religious neutrality. 
Principal Wordsworths’ reply was in terms equally 
emphatic. “That it (the Government) should close 
institutions which it has deliberately established 
for the benefit of the people of this country, 
because certain number of teachers whose 
primary object is to detach the people of the 
country from their ancestral beliefs, think that 
these institutions are an impediment to the 
success of their own plans. If India possessed 
the-privilege of self-government, would it be 
possible even to discuss seriously such a 
proposal? If a strict interpretation of the principle 
of religious neutrality requires the withdrawal of 
Government from the direct management of 
schools and colleges, does it not much more 
require the withdrawal of all aid from institutions 



whose professed object is the extinction of the 
religion of the country?” (pages 234, 252, 253, 
254 and 256, “Christian Proselytism in India” by 
Parekh) 

30. In the Report of the World Conference of the 
International Missionary Council, entitled “The 
World Mission of the Church” held at Tambaram, 
in 1938, the importance of schools as a means of 
proselytization was stated in these unequivocal 
terms: “Care should be taken to secure that 
evangelism has a central place in all medical and 
educational institutions” (page 38). 

31. That this policy is literally followed in the 
schools would be clear from the article headed 
”"nHy$b g{ \$m'Xm at page 5 of Gharbaudhu”, 
January 1952. H$bremH$m{ nHy$b g{ -'m\ 
$m'Xm hj? nHy$b H$brem H{$ obE amA'-d¥oO 

H$m H$m_ H$aVm hj. 

(what is the advantage of the school to the 
Church? Schools are the means for expansion of 
the kingdom).” 

32. In the same strain one finds instructions in the 
“Catholic Dharmaka Pracharak”, page 60, as 
follows:- 


""nHy$b OmZ{ H$m [ohbm \$b 
nHy$b J bm{ J A -V oWnYmZ ]Z OmV{ h 


(first good result of going to school - The school 
produces devout Christians). 

In the copy of letter No. F.E.-3/137, dated the 
15th April 1937, from Lt.-Col. H. W. C. Robson, O. 
B.E., Resident for the Eastern States, to the 
Secretary to His Excellency the Crown 
Representative, Simla, it is found that in spite of 
restrictions, reports had been officially received 
that special efforts were being made (by the 
Catholic Church) to win over young people; and 
that under the guise of education attempts were 
made to convert them to Christianity. 





33. In the report of the “Church of the Nazerene”, 
1954 (page 20), the matter is emphatically stated 
as follows:- 

“Evangelism is our call. We make 
no excuse nor ask for any 
reservation in this period. Jesus 
has called us to preach the Gospel 
to every creature and we mean to 
do it in every phase of our work, be 
it educational, medical or distinctly 
evangelistic. “Go, teach, win” is the 
command under which we work. 

We cannot lessen this emphasis.” 

34. Along with the written statement sent on 
behalf of the Central India Baptist Mission, 
Khirkiya (Hoshangabad district), by Miss M. L. 
Merry, is enclosed a copy of “The Conservative 
Baptist” of March 1954, in which instructions are 
contained as below:- 

“3. Missionaries and Board 
members alike are increasingly 
aware of the need both for a 
dynamic programme of direct 
evangelism and the use of medicine 
and education in the development 
of the work.”. 


(The above issue of March 1954 came from 352, 
Willington Avenue, 14, U. S. A.) 

35. The importance of schools and hospitals in 
their bearing, on evangelism is also stressed by 
W. Harold Storm in “Whit Arabia”, page 93. 
According to him the avenues of approach used 
in Arabia are three, viz., hospitals, schools and 
direct evangelistic work. 

36. Schools.-We shall first deal with the evidence 
bearing on schools. 


The statements made before us disclose that 



various subtle devices are employed to influence 
the minds of youngsters in schools. Ramchandra 
Tiwari (Khandwa, No. 1), says that the Ballahi 
children are attracted to the Roman, Catholic 
Church by the concession of free boarding and 
lodging; and indirectly their elders are influenced 
to attend the services in the Church. Shri C. D. 
Meghashyam (Khandwa, No. 2), Pleader and 
President of the Nimar Harijan Sevak Sangh, 
found that when he opened schools for the 
Harijans of the Ballahi caste, the Christian 
Missionaries opened rival schools in the vicinity, 
holding out allurements of free books and other 
facilities. Babulal (Khandwa, No. 3) was in the 
Roman Catholic School at Mhow and his personal 
experience lie stated that Ballahi students were 
given free boarding, lodging and books, and were 
called upon to attend the Christian prayers, 
whether they were Christians or not. All the three 
witnesses agreed in stating that the names of the 
boys after admission into the Roman Catholic 
School were changed. That the Lutheran Mission 
also indulges in this device is dear from page 5 of 
“Gharbandhu”, March-April 1952, where the 
following occurs:- 


"".ndamA' hm{ OmZ{ g 

{ gaJwOm J Y_©aMma HSm Uma 

IwbJ'm,.Xm{ bS>H{$ 

gaJwOm g{ B©MH{$bmbm'{ J' 

{ .CZH$m Zm_ [Vag 

Amja [mdb aim J'm,. 

(Translation). 

“With the advent of swaraj the gates 
for the preaching of the Gospel 
have been thrown open. Two boys 
were first brought to the Ichkela 
School for religious instruction. 

They were named Peter and Paul.” 

Babulal’s own instance proved that to his original 
name “Walter” was added. Devi Pushpawati 
(Khandwa, No. 5), was a Head Mistress in the 
Roman Catholic School, Khandwa, for 6 years 







and she also spoke about the change of the 
names of students. In the case of most of the 
Ballahi boys the Catholic Father who was the 
manager of the school used to sign as Guardian, 
and that gave, him the opportunity to change the 
name and the religion of the boys. She cited the 
example of a boy whose name was Mukund to 
which was added the name “Nicholas”, when he 
was admitted into the fifth class. The name of 
Vardhaman Ballahi (Khandwa, No. 8), aged 18 
years, was entered as Joseph in his application 
for admission to the matriculation examination. It 
was struck off when he protested. At Ambikapur 
Hiralal Uraon (Ambikapur, No. 12) produced his 
primary certificate in which his name was entered 
as Johan Minz although he was a Hindu. 
According to Beohar Rajendrasingh (Jabalpur, 

No. 5), some such unconscionable methods had 
been used in the Normal School at Sijhora and 
they were exposed by Dr. Elwin and Thakkar 
Bapa. There were some interpellations in the 
Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly with the 
result that the Normal School was taken over by 
Government. 

37. In spite of the Conscience Clause in the 
Educational Manual and a clear provision in the 
Constitution of India, attempts are made to 
circumvent them by some device or other. 
Janardan Shankarlal, aged 14 (Jabalpur, No. 3), 
was in the 7th and 8th class in the Christian 
Mission High School during the years 1953 and 
1954 when the Bible was taught to all students, 
Christian or non-Christian, and they used to be 
tested the next day. Attendance used to be 
marked before the Bible period and the absence 
there-from was treated as absence from the 
class. Vidyavati Gaikwad (Jabalpur, No. 1), aged 
16, was a student in the Johnson’s Girls School 
from the primary class up to Matriculation in 1954, 
during which rime the morning prayer was 
compulsory for all and it was a Christian prayer. 
The resident students had to go to Church on 
Sundays compulsorily for prayers. On the 15th of 
August 1954 a drama was staged in the school in 
celebration of the Independence Day. The four 
quarters of the world were represented by actors 



who brought four flags representing Pakistan, 
England, America and India. After some dialogue 
the It than flag was hoisted. Then a holy person 
entered the stage proclaiming peace for the world 
and then followed a group of girls with a flag 
bearing the sign of the cross. That flag came to 
be hoisted on the top of all the flags. The 
Principal of the School explained that the drama 
was designed to promote friendship between 
India, England, America and Pakistan. This 
drama evoked some public criticism in the Nava- 
Bharat of Jabalpur, dated 17th August 1954. 

Miss Zilla Soule (Jabalpur, No. 2), is the Principal 
of the Training College and she stated that the 
Bible classes were not compulsory even for 
Christian boys; nevertheless non-Christian girls 
attended it for the special reason that it was an 
Assembly hour during which the day’s programme 
of the school was announced. The girls were 
attending the prayer in their own interest to hear 
the announcement. The same thing was said, 
more or less, by Shri Robinson, Headmaster of 
the Christ Church High School (Jabalpur, No. 6). 

F. M. P. Singh (Jabalpur, No. 12), Headmaster, 
Christian High School, Jabalpur, admitted that 
before September 1954 teaching of Bible and 
Christian prayer were compulsory. 

38. Mahadeo Tukaram (Yeotmal, No. 18), is a 
student of the Mission High School, Darwha, and 
he stated that all the students have to join 
prayers, and on Sundays hear the Sacred 
Scriptures being read. Sumitra Gaikwad 
(Yeotmal, No. 19), is a teacher in the India Free 
Methodist Conference School at Umri. According 
to her, Hindu boys attend the prayers as they are 
addressed to God so that He may help the boys 
in their study and promote the welfare of the 
country. Nandlal Dube, Teacher, Mission High 
School, Chotapara (Bilaspur, No. 13), said, that 
after attendance was marked, prayers were 
offered and a student who was absent was 
defined one anna. Subhaktibai Fernandis 
(Buldana, No. 2) is a school mistress who brought 
to our notice the absence of forms which are 
specifically designed to give effect to the express 
provision of the Constitution in regard to the 



attendance at religious prayers in schools. 


HOSPITALS 

39. Shrimati Yengad (Washim, No. 1), is the 
nurse in the Mission Hospital at Washim run by 
the Nazerene Mission. She stated that an Indian 
lady preacher offered prayers, imploring divine aid 
for the recovery of the in-door patients. She 
herself believed in preaching and healing. This 
lady is Sarjabai Yengad, who is described as a 
splendid Bible woman, who daily gives her 
witness from room to room. So also Sampat 
Shinde who daily comes to the hospital to give his 
witness (Report of Church of the Nazarene 
Mission, 1954, page 20). Hanumant Bhatkhande 
(Washim, No. 5) is an Advocate of the High Court, 
who complained that while his wife was in the 
hospital at Washim a nurse by name Shrimati 
Sathe tried to influence her to become a 
Christian, using the name of Rev. Narayan 
Waman Tilak. One Zongaji complained to Shri 
Narayan Kale (Washim, No. 8), that he had been 
asked to pay either Rs. 35 or hand over his child 
who had been in the hospital for treatment, for 
being brought up as a Christian. Similar 
complaints were laid before us by Yeshwant 
Mahar (Washim. No. 10), Shrimati Nalinibai Sathe 
(Washim, No. 11 and Pramilabai Dabir (Washim, 
No. 14). 

40. At Raipur, one Jharihar (Raipur, No. 2), who 
had been in the Leper Asylum, Raipur, for 21 
years, reverted to Hinduism after the asylum had 
been taken over by the Government. He had 
become a Christian during the time that it was 
under the management of the Mission. Along 
with him about 100 patients gave up Christianity, 
but a few remained Christian. Hardeo, Mojiram 
and Mst. Hiro [Nos. 3, 3 (a) and 3 (b) (Raipur)] 
said that they had become Christians because 
the hospital was under the management of 
Christians and reverted to Hinduism voluntarily as 
the Medical Officer was a Hindu. 


41. The doctrine that sickness is cured by faith in 



Christ is propagated in the market place, as 
stated by Jatashankar Sharma (Raipur, No. 6). 

Dr. Samuel, preaching in the market at 
Mahasamund, cited the instance of a child which 
was brought to the hospital for treatment and was 
saved. As his father had already lost his two 
sons, he developed faith in Jesus and became a 
Christian. Tarachand (Raipur, No. 17) was told in 
the Mission Hospital that his wife would be cured 
by faith in Jesus, and she had to offer Christian 
prayers. Similarly, the wife of Narsinghdas 
(Raipur, No. 19), who was in the Jagdeeshpur 
Hospital, was asked to attend Christian prayers. 
When Hariramji (Raipur, No. 15) visited the 
Evangelical Hospital, Tilda, to see his mother who 
was an in-door patient he found the pictures of 
Krishna and Gopis bathing in the Jumna and 
Rama going to the forest, and he was told that 
they were of bad character. One Bideshi (Raipur, 
No. 27) complained of pressure being brought to 
bear upon him by one Tulsi Babu to become a 
Hindu but he admitted that he had affixed his 
thumb-impression to the general application made 
by a large number of in patents for being 
reconverted to Hinduism, and added that he 
changed his mind before the performance of the 
Shuddhi ceremony. Dr. Mukerjee, the Leprosy 
Specialist of the Leper Asylum, Raipur (Raipur, 

No. 29), produced the official register to show that 
all those who reverted to Hinduism did so of their 
own free-will and choice. The original application 
bore the thumb-impression of Bideshi against 
serial number 14 along with others who reverted 
to Hinduism in December 1948. Bideshi 
continued to be an inmate of the Asylum until 
22nd December 1949, when lie left it of his own 
accord. The official file contained a letter, dated 
the 21st June 1949, from Mr. Essabaggers 
bearing the names of all Christian inmates in the 
hospital. Bideshi’s name was not there, as he 
had ceased to be a Christian. In the hospital, 
there were some Christian lepers who did not 
choose to revert to Hinduism. 

42. Turning to the reports of the “Mission to 
Lepers”, one comes across cases of conversions 
occurring every year in the Leper Asylums. The 



Chandkhuri Leprosy Hospital and Homes 
celebrated its 50th jubilee in 1947. On the last 
page of the printed report, we find the following 
figures of Baptisms 


1898 to 1905 


493 

1906 to 1912 


263 

1913 to 1934 


1,401 

1935 to 1947 


395 





Total 

2,552 


The number evidently includes leper children as 
well, the majority of whom are shown as non- 
infectious in the report. 

Rev. T. H. Major, Superintendent, Kothara 
Leprosy Hospital, Achalpur, in his written 
statement stated that, ill his hospital, out of the 
total strength of 299 patients, 290 were on the 
Government roll and only 9 on the mission roll. 
Out of these, no less than 100 patients were 
Christians although only a few were Christians at 
the time of admission. He has supplied the 
following statement of conversions yearwise since 
1947 when he took charge of the Asylum:- 


Year 

Conversion 

Year 

Conversion 

(1) 

(2) 

(1) 

(2) 

1947 

24' 

1951 

11 

1948 

4 

1952 

21 

1949 

53 

1953 

3 

1950 

14 

1954 

24 



Total 

154 


During the period of eight years 1.54 patients 
were converted to Christianity. Evidently, they 
are out of those who were on the Government roll 
and on the maintenance of whom Government 
was contributing Rs. 26,000 a year as grant-in- 
aid. 




















43. Rev. Major produced a letter from the Council 
of the “Mission to Lepers”, in London, and stated 
that he had to work within the framework of that 
letter. The salient parts thereof are, as follows:- 

The object of the Society is to 
provide for the spiritual instruction 
and temporal relief of the lepers 

and their children in India. 

While doing this, it has also to 
safeguard the liberty of the patients 
for it would be grievous to the 
Mission for its service to be the 
occasion of any compulsion in 
religious matters. 

44. In the report of 1952-53 in respect of Madhya 
Pradesh at Champa, there were 12 patients who 
had been baptised. Among them were a youth 
named Chandus and others were women. The 
remark occurs that such baptisms were not 
isolated experiences but were the outcome of the 
faithful witness of the Church in the Home such 
as Evangelistic Meetings, Special Passion Tide 
and Easter Meetings, the Annual Bible Courses 
and Sunday Schools. At Shantipur also during 
that year, 25 people were baptised and others 
had expressed a desire for baptism. There is a 
remark that spiritual seed has been sown and 
watered but God alone could give the increase. 

45. Shri Manikrao Hanote (Amravati, No. 4), who 
has been in the service of the Leper Home, 
Kothara, since he was cured in 1954, stated that 
at Sunday prayers about 200 people attend 
without any compulsion and added that from 1947 
there were 60 conversions. 

46. Mahant Nayandas, M.L.A., and Secretary, 
Akhil Bharatiya Satnami Sabha (Raipur, No. 23), 
stated from his personal knowledge holy pressure 
was brought to bear on the patients in hospitals to 
get converted to Christianity. He cited an 
instance of one Kejha of Modpa, Bilaspur district, 
who was an in-door patient at Mungeli. He was 
asked to become a Christian, if he wanted to be 




cured. Similarly, Bodhan Satnami of Dhawra 
Bata, an in-door patient of. Bilaspur hospital, was 
pressed to become a Christian and was actually 
converted. One year after he was out of the 
hospital, he approached Mahant Nayandas to 
take him back in his own Satnami fold and he was 
reconverted. Mahant Nayandas was himself a 
patient in the Tilda hospital and was an eye 
witness to all the Christian preachings that went 
on in the hospital. Dr. Pillay (Sagar, No. 1), said 
that it was the duty of a good doctor to present 
Christ to a patient in a Mission Hospital; and Rev. 
Raman (Sagar, No. 2), added that in illness a 
patient is in a most receptive mood. Miss Bijnor, 
(Sagar, No. 5), stated that a Christian doctor is in 
duty bound not only to heal the patients bodily but 
also be a witness for Christ. 

47. Now as to Christian Orphanages, they are 
undoubtedly being run to multiply the population 
of Christians. A large number of such orphans 
were gathered into the Christian fold during 
famine, natural calamities like the floods and the 
earthquakes. There can thus be little doubt that 
special emphasis on spreading Christianity is 
given m dealing with young immature minds or 
those temporarily disabled by physical - ailments. 
No wonder that the largest number of converts 
are from such backward classes living in areas 
where due to various causes only Mission schools 
and hospitals exist. Most conversions have been 
doubtless insincere admittedly brought about in 
expectation of social service benefits and other 
material considerations. 

48. Among the various devices employed for 
proselytization one is money-lending carried on 
by the Roman Catholic Missions. In our 
exploratory tour there was everywhere the 
complaint in the districts of Surguja and Raigarh 
that the Roman Catholic Missionaries advanced 
loans on condition that the debtor agreed to chop 
off his top-knot (choti) and that those who did not 
accept the condition had to repay the loan with 
interest. In Mandla district also, the loans were 
advanced to the aboriginals as stated by 
Rambharose Agrawal, (Mandla, No. 1). Rev. 



Dilraj, (Mandla, No. 2), who is a Missionary of the 
Gondwana Mission operating in the Mandla 
district and whose main work is evangelistic, 
received complaints of this nature. He, however, 
thought that it might be just to help poor men as 
the Roman Catholics reached the places where 
Government help was not available. He 
emphatically declared that his own Mission never 
adopted such methods of conversion. Rev. A. I. 
George, (Mandla, No. 5), is the Secretary of the 
Patpara Mission. People often approached him 
for conversion to Christianity with the expectation 
of financial help. Shri Umeshdutta Pathak, 
(Mandla, No. 10), stated that people were 
converted by offering inducements of loan and 
help in litigation. Beohar Rajendrasingh, 
(Jabalpur, No. 5), was a proprietor of the 
Malguzari village in Mandla district, inhabited 
mostly by Gonds. He was President of 
Mahakoshal branch of the All-India Harijan Sevak 
Sangh, as also the. Vice-President of Vanvasi 
Seva Mandal at Mandla. He claims to have a 
direct knowledge of moneylending being one of 
the means of inducing conversions. Daduram, 
(Jabalpur, No. 7), is a Gond agriculturist who 
stated that he had been induced by Hansa, Peter 
and Mohan to become a Christian so that he 
might get some monetary benefit, but as he failed 
to get it even after conversion he reverted to 
Hinduism. Shri Shankar Datta Shastri, of 
Dharamjaigarh, (Raigarh, No. 1), had owned as 
Raj-Purohit two Mafi villages inhabited by Uraons 
and other Adiwasis To his knowledge one Balchy 
Uraon went to Ludeg and got a loan from the 
Padri and became converted. Dharmadeo 
Tripathi, (Raigarh, No. 2), and Hisamuddin 
Siddiqui, (Raigarh, No. 3), Vidyadhar of Ludeg, 
(Raigarh, No. 5), Ghunu Uraon, (Raigarh, No. 6), 
and Chhutia Uraon (Raigarh, No. 20), and others 
spoke about money-lending as being used for 
conversion. They also showed receipts relating to 
payments including exorbitant interest. 

Dhupsahai Uraon, (Raigarh, No. 17), stated that 
his father had borrowed Rs. 100 from the 
Missionary, but as he was unable to repay he 
became a Christian. Subsequently he reverted to 
Hinduism with his family on repayment of Rs. 118. 



49. These statements are reinforced by 
references made to this practice of the Roman 
Catholic Missionaries in a pamphlet entitled 
Christi Mandalika Itihas, written by Professor I. W. 
Johari, M.A., B.D. of the Union Theological 
Seminary, Indore, (1943), in these words:- 

”"am{_Z H{$Wm{obH$ o_eZar 
Jm§d H{$ H¥$fH$ml H$m{ Hw 
$N> e['{ CYma X{Z{ bJ{ Amja'h 
oZ'_ R>ham'm oH$ d{ H¥$fH$ 
v oX am{_Z H{$WobH$ ahl Vm 
{ CZ g{ CYma Orn{ oX'm J'm gm 
{ dmo[g ob'm Z OnTJm. [naUm_ 'h 
hJ)Am oH$ AY' o_eZ H{$ Jh^V g 
{ bm{J am{_Z H{$WobH$ hm{ J'{" 

([¥iR 152) 

(Translation) 

“The Roman Catholic Missionaries 
began to lend money to the 
agriculturists on condition that if 
they became and remained Roman 
Catholic, that loan need not be 
repaid. The result was that many 
Christians of other missions turned 
Roman Catholic.” 

50. Referring to Chhota Nagpur, Rev. Pickett 
says:- 


“Roman Catholic Missions are 
aggressively seeking to win 
converts from Protestant Christian 
groups and are accused of offering 
financial inducements through Co¬ 
operative Societies loans, 
employments, fee or reduced tuition 
in schools, financing of court cases, 

etc”.“The Roman Catholics 

and Anglicans (S. P. G. Mission) in 
these villages were all former 
Lutherans. So far as eve could 




discover the occasions for leaving 
the Lutheran church and joining one 
of the others ,were (1) Discipline by 
the Church or by the tribal 
brotherhood. (2) (In case of Roman 
Catholics only) financial 
assistance.” (Pages 325-326. 

Christian Mass Movement in India, 

1933.) 

This practice came to be exposed in an enquiry 
made by Lt. Col. A.S. Meek, Agent to the 
Governor-General, Eastern States, Ranchi, the 
report of which is to be found in letter No. 751, 
dated the 20th April 1936, addressed to the 
Political Secretary to the Government of India in 
the Foreign and Political Department, New Delhi, 
on the subject of Christian Missions in the Eastern 
States: “Proselytism in the Udaipur State by the 
Jesuit Mission”. 

In the Udaipur State there was a ban on the entry 
of Missionaries. The then Ruler of the State was 
a minor and the State was being managed by the 
Political Department. On receipt of reports in 
June 1935, that some 6,000 persons had offered 
themselves for instruction with a view to baptism, 
Col. Meek had an interview with the Bishop of 
Ranchi. When Col. Meek enquired whether any 
inducement had been offered, such as 
advancement of loans, the Bishop replied that the 
Mission advanced loans to Christians in need of 
money and that the knowledge of this fact might 
certainly be an inducement for others to embrace 
Christianity. Then a formal enquiry came to be 
made, through Col. Murphy, who visited 15 
villages in the Udaipur State. He found that the 
alleged spontaneity of people in the Udaipur State 
to embrace Christianity was entirely false; and he 
concluded that the people had been actuated “by 
one idea and one idea only, that being the receipt 
of money from the Mission on loan”. He further 
found that information had been disseminated, 
throughout the State that loans would be readily 
obtained in Mission Station at Tapkara on a note 
of hand without any security, on condition that 
they should have their top-knot cut off. Some of 



the people who bad received loans were minors 
and casual labourers. It also appeared that when 
one member of a family had taken a loan, all the 
other members of that family were entered in the 
book as potential converts. The rate of interest 
charged was 10 per cent and in a large number of 
cases examined, one year’s interest was 
deducted in advance. On being questioned, the 
people without any hesitation, said that their only 
purpose in going to the Mission had been to get 
money; and all said that without the lure of money 
none would have sought to become Christian. In 
a letter which the Bishop of Ranchi wrote to Col. 
Murphy he tried to explain it in this way: 

“The taking of loans is not the 
motive of conversion, but it is in the 
eyes of aboriginals a sign of 
adherence and a pledge of 
earnestness and sincerity”. 

51. The result of the enquiry was that Col. Meek 
imposed severe restrictions on the activities of 
Missionaries, and his action was confirmed by the 
Government of India (letter No. F/751-JMS-35, 
dated the 9th October 1936). In spite of these 
restrictions there were reports received officially 
that devious efforts were being made to win over 
young people under the guise of educating them 
in schools (vide letter No. FE/3/137, dated 15th 
April 1937). A similar situation arose in Raigarh 
State while Dr. Baldeoprasad Mishra, D. Litt., was 
the Diwan of that State, between 1930 and 1940. 
In 1936 the Bishop of Ranchi requested him for a 
site in that State for erecting a Church declaring 
that there were 4,000 Christians in the State and 
that he was responsible for saving their souls. On 
an enquiry made by Dr. Mishra, it transpired that 
the Roman Catholic Mission had made 
arrangements for lending money to people in the 
Raigarh State on condition that the debtors 
agreed to have their top-knot chopped off. When 
he inspected the registers he found that not only 
the name of t e head of the family who had 
borrowed money but the names of the family 
members were also entered as debtors. When 
Dr. Mishra reported to the Bishop of Ranchi, that 



there was no Christian in the Raigarh State he 
received the answer that the names of the 
debtors were entered as Christians in the register 
because it was the Christian Co-operative Society 
which had lent the money. Thereafter an Anti- 
Conversion Act came to be passed in the Raigarh 
State. 

52. This device of using money-lending to serve 
religious purpose was fully established by several 
Uraon witnesses (Raigarh, Nos. 6, 21 to 25), who 
filed the receipts which they had obtained from 
the Mission authorities at Tapkara on repayment 
of their loans. The story related by them was of 
the same nature as indicated above. 

Other Allurements 

53. There is a body of evidence to show, that 
conversions were induced on the promise of gift 
of salt, Plough, bullocks and even milk powder 
received from abroad. It is unnecessary to 
recapitulate that evidence in view of the 
admission made by John Lakra of Pithora, at 
Dhorpur on 12th June 1954 as follows:- 

“I saw in them some sort of 
willingness to become Christians to 
improve their lot. They saw what 
facilities there were for education, 
medical help which were given by 
Christians, paddy bank, etc. I told a 
good many people that the 
Christians were happy in other 
places. I told that we look to the 
material welfare of the men and not 

only of their souls.The first 

thing is to make them of our faith. 

Then we open schools and afford 

other facilities.We have got a 

Mutual Aid Society to advance 
money. In all the centres at 
Jashpur there is Mutual Aid 

Society.Only Christians are 

members.We have got several 

committees in foreign countries 







from which amount is collected. 

This is received here and spent by 

the Bishop.if parents embrace 

Christianity their minor children are 
also baptised”. 

A Lutheran Pastor who followed also said, “I tell 
people that if they want to share our improvement 
they are welcome to Christianity.” 

The allurements of material benefits ape also held 
out in other places as was brought to our notice in 
Amravati, Yeotmal, Khamgaon and Bilaspur. 

Engagement as Pracharaks 

54.In the exploratory tours it was brought to our 
notice that one of the inducements Was to 
engage new converts as pracharaks on Rs. 40 
per month. In the Surguja district there were 60 
to 70 pracharaks. Shri Gunwant Tayade, 
(Amravati. No. 9), who belongs to the Mahar 
community stated that people who are not 
competent enough even to earn Rs. 20 per month 
received as pracharak a salary up to Rs. 100 per 
month. Rev. Grubb, (Amravati, No. 2), admitted 
that he had 12 pracharaks working under him and 
that the scale of their pay varied from Rs. 60 to 
Rs. 90 per month. Sonbaji, (Yeotmal, No. 6), a 
Christian preacher converted from the Mahar 
caste, was receiving Rs. 45 per month as a 
preacher. Silas Zingre, (Yeotmal, No. 10), 
another Christian preacher, was getting Rs. 60 
per month and he has converted 100 persons. 

The pay of pastor J. C. Nathar (Yeotmal, No. 13), 
of the Church at Umri was Rs. 98 per month. As 
a preacher in the hospital at Umri he had 15 
conversion to his credit. Shri Moses David, 
(Yeotmal. No. 22), gets a salary of Rs. 157 per 
month. Since 1947 he converted 200 persons to 
Christianity. Shri Laxman Bhatkar, (Buldana, No. 
5), is M. P. He belongs to the caste of Mahar and 
has been a social worker for 35 years, and is now 
conducting a hostel known as Chokhamela 
Hostel. He had also been M.L.A. from 1938 to 
1942. From his personal knowledge he stated 




that almost cent per cent of Christian converts in 
Berar were drawn from the Harijan caste. The 
Harijans who are poor and ignorant become 
Christians if they are offered the post of a 
preacher or teacher. Hiralal Pagare, (Buldana, 
No. 6), is a pastor who gets Rs. 85 per month; so 
also Rev. Gophane, (Buldana, No. 7), who gets 
Rs. 60 per month and Luther Manmothe, 
(Buldana, No. 11), gets Rs. 81 as a pastor in 
Mehkar. Tularam (Bilaspur, No. 14), gets Rs. 82 
per month. He said that 4 pracharaks work wit in 
a radius of 6 miles. 

Use of the influence of Village Officers 

55. Ishwarprasad Kotwal, (Mandla, No. 6), is a 
Government village officer. He was asked by the 
Father of Roman Catholic Church to distribute 
tracts among the villagers and bring them to 
Church on every Sunday. He had to incur the 
displeasure of the Catholic Father as the people 
did not like to attend the Church. Bhagwansingh, 
(Mandla, No. 10), who is a Member of the Dindori 
Janpad Sabha, said that the Roman Catholic 
Mission got hold of the mukhiya of the village and 
used his influence in converting other people. 
Ganjuram Uraon, (Raigarh, No. 12), who is the 
Patel of Mudekala was approached by group of 
Christians professing to be directed by the 
Padrisaheb and asked him to call a meeting and 
advise the people to become Christians. A similar 
statement was made by Shri Kashiprasad Mishra, 
(Raigarh, No. 19). He is an ex-M.L.A. and 
Chairman of the Janpad Sabha, Udaipur. This 
seems to be the usual practice, which has come 
into vogue as a result of regular instructions 
issued by the Missions. We find in the Hindi 
translation of the Missions in Mid India, published 
in 1938, the following instruction at pages 151- 
152 under head 6: 

" ,,v hm§ [a Om{ B©gmB© [m{obg H 
$m H$m_ H$aV{ h0'm 0§Jb A\ 

$ga h0 'm nHy$bml J [mR>H$ H 
$m H$m_ H$aV{ h0, AJa VrZ oXZ 
H{$ ob'{ BZbm{JmlH{$ob'{ EH 



$ g A m bJmB© Omd{ Am;a AY' 
Yo_©'ml H$m Y_m a Va H$m ]m 
{Pm CZH{$ H$YY{ [a a-Im Om 
Vm{ ]S>r AAN>r ]mV hm{ Jr." 

(English Translation) 

“It would be extremely good if the 
Christians in Police, Forest or 
Education Departments hold 
meeting for three days for 
converting people of other religions 
to Christianity.” 

In Gharbandhu of July 1953, page 16, we also 
find a suggestion on the same line. It is as 
follows:- 


""AV: Om{ _grh gaH$mar oS> 
[mQ>©_ {YQ>ml _l H$m_ H$aV{ h 
<j d{ Bg Amja Oam A r U'mZ Zhr X 


{V{ .-'m a A w CZH$m{ 'h 

Amkm Zht Xr oH$ "_{a{ gmjr hm 
{Am}. 1 ._grh H$m 


{ aMma H$aZm g] H$m H$V©i' 
hi." 


(English Translation) 

“Those Christians who are in 
Government service do not take 
any interest. Did not the Lord 
command them also to be his 
witnesses and to spread the Gospel 
to all people as their duty?” 

Various Methods of propagating Christianity 

In Burhanpur it came to the notice of the 
Education Department that the Christian Head 
Mistress bad been unauthorisedly teaching two 
books, viz., Little Dutch Girl, and Thumbline, 
which were designed to encourage girls to go to 
the Church. She was a Member of the Original 
Sectional Church of Scotland. 





56. There are various methods of approaching 
the people indicated in a book entitled Ways of 
Evangelism, issued by the National Christian 
Council of India, such as Lay Visitation, 
Establishment of Ashrams, Rural Service 
Fellowship Camps, Intensive Village Campaigns, 
the Jatra, Lyrics, Leaflets in Series, Bible Study 
by Correspondence, the Newspaper, Books, 
Posters, Projected Pictures, the Flannel Graphs 
and the Dramas. The way in which the preaching 
foes on will be clear from the following instances. 
Rev. Coleman, of the American Friends Mission 
at Amarmhow, in his preaching round, attacked 
idol worship in rather offensive terms with the 
result that a complaint was made to the District 
Magistrate, Sagar, against him. Fie stated in 
justification that he was only reciting one of the 
ten commandments which laid down the 
command, “Thou shall not make unto thee a 
graven image” (Sagar, No. 12). The District 
Magistrate warned him to desist from indulging in 
objectionable propaganda. Mrs. Alma K. Artrim, 
belonging to the Missionary Bands of the World, 
Rajnandgaon, issued some pamphlets 
condemning idol worship. She also received a 
warning from the Deputy Commissioner, K. C. 
Burdette of Surguja took out a procession in 
villages Chando, Jodhpur, Khutipara of tahsil 
Samri, singing provocative songs. He was 
prosecuted for offence under section 295/298, I. 

P. C. He tendered apology. There was a 
pamphlet entitled “Gurudyan”, containing inter-alia 
the undermentioned song:- 

”"YY' a A w 'rew a{_ aMmaH$, g] OZ H{$ 
oZnVmar a{$& 


gma{ OJV J amA' \j$bmAm{, H$a bm{ g] AoYH 

$mar a{ $& 

ohYXwnVmZ H{ $ ew A oXZ Amd{, M_H{ $'m 
cA'mar a{$& 

A maV Jmd{ Zm_ 'rew H$m, bj bj H$a OjH$mar a 

{•" 


This pamphlet was banned by Notification No. 




146-179-XX-D. dated the 22nd January, 1955. 
Dramas are also preformed in which idol worship 
is ridiculed, (Ujjhalsingh, Raipur, No. 20). A 
Christian preacher recited Kirtans and exhibited 
lantern slides, on the life of Jesus Christ and 
denounced Hindu Gods. (Tryambak Khanjode, 
Washim No. 6). The songs like ""XJS>{, YmlS> 
{, gm{Z{, e$[{ 'm§og X{d _moZVm H$ma 
{ Vwahr hH$ZmH$ Vi_oiVm" are common. At a 
fair held in Loni, Kunti, the mother of Pandavas, 
was denounced as an adulteress (Shri 
Narayanrao Kale, Washim, No. 8). Another 
preacher denounced Hindu Gods as stone Gods 
and dead Gods, (Yeshwant Idhole, Washim, No. 
16). Ramchandra Bhedi, a student in the M.Sc. 
Class, (Amravati, No. g), mentioned that Rama 
was described as a God who destroyed Ravan 
and was contrasted with Jesus who died for the 
wicked. He produced an extract from a-book 
called “Bharatat Alele Preshit” in which it was 
written that the whole of India should be 
christianised. None of the Christian witnesses 
admitted the existence of this book but we have 
been able to obtain a copy of it. Rev. Grubb, 
(Amravati, No. 2), admitted that in his preaching 
he had referred to Krishna as one who killed his 
enemy and to Jesus as one who died to save his 
enemies. Balwant Ganesh Khaparde, (Amravati, 
No. 10), retired Professor of Benaras Hindu 
University, heard Rev. Pawar in July 1955 making 
a strong attack on Hindu religion in the Kirtan 
recited by him and emphasised the fact that 
Jesus Christ was a historical person. Dattatraya 
Govind Joshi, (Amravati, No. 11), who played on 
the Tabla to the accompaniment of the songs 
sung by Rev. Pawar, confirmed his statement and 
added that Rev. Pawar ridiculed Krishna for 
teaching reverence for the cow. 

57. The Christians have now adopted the practice 
of reciting Bhajans styling them as Yeshu bhajans 
and reciting the Bible calling it Yeshu Bhagwat, 
(Rev. Maqbul Masih, Bilaspur, No. 2). Referring 
to the passage “Ishya vashyam Idam sarvam” 
occurring in the Isha Vashya Upanishad, a 
preacher declared to the people that it meant that 
the Whole world was going to be Christian 



(Gulabchand, Amravati, No. 14). A Christian 
preacher addressed persons in the market place 
on what he called “Yeshu Bhagwat”, and the lives 
of Rama and Krishna were attacked in a way 
offensive to the Hindus, (Mukund Chitale, 
Advocate, Bilaspur, No. 5). At Mahasamund, Dr. 
Samuel preached that salvation lay only through 
Jesus, and not through Rama whose wife was 
snatched away (Jatashankar Sharma, Raipur, No. 
6 ). 

58. The expression occurring in Tulsidas’s 
Ramayan, viz. “Girjapujan” was interpreted to the 
people as “Girjaghar” i.e. a Church, (Mahant 
Vaishnaodas, Raipur, No. 1). At Khamgaon, Rev. 
Carner assumed the name of Shri Ladakebuwa 
alias L. R. Carner Saheb Khandeshkar and 
circulated leaflets inviting the public to attend his 
Kirtan in Marathi, to be recited like Gadage 
Maharaj and Tukdoji Maharaj on the subject of 
Jesus Christ in the Mission House. One such 
public notice was produced before us and is on 
our file, (Shri Narayanlal, Khamgaon, No. 5). A 
preacher in a hospital at Tilda was heard telling 
the patients that Krishna, Rama, Shankar and 
Vishwamitra had gone for the darshan of Jesus 
Christ at his birth, (Harriramji, Raipur, No. 15). In 
the pamphlets “Gurupariksha, Rampariksha, 
Chandraleela and Sachha majhab konsa hai ”, 
there are very provocative attacks on Rama and 
Mohammad. In Guru Pariksha, the following 
occurs: 


"”am_ H¥$iU._wp-VXmVm 

Zht hm{ gH$V{, -'mloH$ g] H{$ 

g].]wamB©'ml H{$ de J obBV 

W{" ([¥iR> 4). 

""dh (H¥$iU) Mm{a.Wm$& 

Cg Z{ H§$g H{$ oZa[amY Ym{]r H 
$m KmV oH$'m$& E{g{ X 
{dVmAml [a Amgam aIZm ]S>r 
_wI©Vm hj.” ([¥iR> 5). 


”"X{dVm g{ b{H$ ]«mahU VH$ g] 
H{$ g] [m[ H{$ AYrZ hj.” ([¥iR> 






8 ). 


”"am_.[m[r Wm. 

Am[ _a J'm Amja o\$a Zht Or 
CR>m." ([¥iR> 34). 

“Sachha Majhab Konsa Hai” the 
reference to Hajrat Mohammad is in 
these words, 

""_wha_X.Xwga{ AmXo_'ml 

H$s Vah JwZmhJma [jXm 
hj)dm.'' ([¥iR> 9). 

""_wha_X H$s N>: (6) AmjaVI 
Wr." ([¥iR> 10). 

""dh AmX_r Om{ _nVr, Jwngm 
Amja H$R>m{aVm g{ A amh]3dm 
Wm." ([¥iR> 11). 


""dh _a J'm, JmS>m J'm Amja CgH 
$m ]XZ H$]« J gS> J'm" ([¥iR> 

12 ). 

59. In the Dharmopadesh (Part II), other religions 
are referred to as false religions, propounding 
worship -of Satan. Catholics are asked not to go 
to Government schools or to schools where false 
religion is taught and that if the Government were 
to pass a law compelling Catholic boys to attend 
Government schools it would be repugnant to 
Divine Law. The protection of cows is also 
ridiculed on the ground that Christian God has 
given full power to man over, the animal creation, 
as over the vegetable kingdom. There are also 
references against the Government on account of 
its secular character (pages 56, 57, 67 and 72). 
Some of the witnesses also stated that in the 
course of the preaching it was sought to be 
impressed that the Christian rule had made the 
people happy but that the present Government 
could do nothing for the. Harijans, and that it was 
itself depending upon America for supply of wheat 
and monetary aid, (Jatashankar, Raipur, No. 6 









and Ramchandra Bhedi, Amravati, No. 8). 


60. A pamphlet published at Raipur entitled 
‘Satyanami Panth’ contained a veiled suggestion 
that the first Guru of Satnamis, viz., Ghasidas, 
had derived his inspiration to preach Satnam from 
a Christian preacher. As Ghasidas died in 1850 
at the age of 80 (page 100, C. P. Gazetteer, 

1870), it is very unlikely that he could have come 
in contact with the Missionaries. 

The kind of instruction that the Missionaries 
appear to receive can be seen from the 
undermentioned extracts occurring in the 
Evangelical Christian, September 1955, on page 
419, under the head “False God”:-“Any one who 
has visited India knows the hold that religion has 
upon the people. They worship a million Gods, 
from inanimate sticks and stones to everything 
that lives and creeps on the earth-cows, 
monkeys, snakes, etc. Now a Brahmin priest has 
come out with a new religion which is the worship 

of Husband by Wives, etc., etc.India is surely 

the world's most striking illustration that religion 
can never bring peace to the troubled heart of 
man or wash away the stain or sin that de-files 

every son and daughter of Adam. 

India’s trouble is religion, not the lack of it 

.Her tragedy lies in her rejection of 

the One Person.It is Christ who can 

meet her need, etc.”. 

61. Such virulent and sinister attacks on Hinduism 
are in no way a departure from the manner which 
characterised the Christian preaching in past, 
which Gandhiji referred to, particularly, Bishop 
Heber’s famous line “where every prospect 
pleases and only man is vile”. 

So did Alexander Duff attack Hinduism in the 
Exeter Hall, London, in these polished words: 

“Above the spiritual gloom of a 
gathering tempest relieved only by 
the lightening glance of the 
Almighty’s indignation around a 







moral wilderness where all light 
dies and only death lives, 
underneath one vast catacomb of 
immortal souls perishing from lack 
of knowledge”. 

(Christianity and the Government of India by 
Arthur Mayhew page 175). 

Similarly a journalist, Mr. Harold Begbie, in a work 
“The Light of Asia”, published by the Christian 
Literature Society for India, speaks of Hinduism 
as “A weltering chaos of terror, darkness and 
uncertainty. It is a religion without an 
apprehension of a moral evolution, without 
definite commandments, without a religious 
sanction in the sphere of morals, without a moral 
code, without a God, except a being which is a 
mixture of Bacchus, Don Juan and Dick Turpin. It 
is the most material and childishly superstitious 
animalism that ever masqueraded as idealism, 
not another path to God but a pit of abomination, 
as far set from God as the mind of man can 

go.” (page 157 Is India Civilized? by 

Sir John Woodroffe, Judge, High Court, 

Calcutta). Much more provoking are cases such 
as these. There were two cases of desecration 
of, Hindu sacred places and the culprits were 
convicted. (Criminal Case No. 245/1953 and No. 
141/53 at Sirpur.) 

62. Can any right thinking man assert that such 
vile attacks on the religion of the majority 
community in India is part of Christian religion or 
is conducive to public order or morality? We are 
aware that top-ranking Mission authorities have 
themselves denied such attacks and have 
assured the Government that it is only the 
mistaken zeal of some fanatical individuals which 
is occasionally responsible for such outbursts. If 
such instances had been few or casual we would 
have accepted this excuse. But the voluminous 
oral and documentary evidence before us shows 
that attacks on Hindu religion, its gods and 
deities, are an important and integral plank of 
Christian propaganda, and are being indulged in, 
in a concerted manner deliberately in all parts of 




the State and by all sorts of preachers and are 
occasionally sought to be justified by authoritative 
organisations as a mere explanation of one of the 
Commandments. The reason is not difficult to 
seek. It has been the case of Roman Catholics 
and other Missionaries since long that the 
Adivasis are not Hindus. In fact, it has been 
vehemently asserted that to regard Adivasis as 
Hindus is an instance of “Mass Conversions” by 
the Government and other communal bodies. In 
respect of Harijans, social injustice in their 
treatment by caste Hindus is considerably 
emphasised to propagate Christianity. These two 
classes are therefore considered to be the most 
gullible for propaganda against Hinduism. The 
resentment, which such an attitude has created 
amongst certain Hindu organisations, is therefore 
natural, although we do not appreciate the 
attempts made by some to retaliate by reviling 
Christianity or its tenets. Our purpose is merely to 
point out that in a predominantly Hindu country 
such a propaganda is not free from the problems 
of the maintenance of law and order. Considering 
the type of vilification going on in various arts of 
the State by ill-bred or fanatical pracharaks one is 
surprised to notice so few instances of actual 
breaches of peace. Perhaps the natural 
tolerance of the villagers, together with, the 
vigilance of the authorities in charge of law and 
order, may be responsible for the paucity of such 
incidents. But it is indisputably clear that such 
propaganda has a tendency to disturb public 
order and the blame must be shared by those 
who start such attacks on the religion or religious 
beliefs of others with those who are provoked by 
them. 


Mass Conversions 

63. Has there been “Mass Conversions” in any 
part of the State? Let us first analyse what is 
really implied by -conversion. The Christian point 
of view is that conversion is an act of God and is 
lot a simple matter. Only such a person as can 
satisfy a priest that he has a disposition to be 
converted is admitted for instruction before 
Baptism, and only after due instruction is a person 



baptised or converted. There is no significance in 
Baptism or conversion without these precautions. 
Christian pastors will not, it is said, dare to baptise 
or convert without these precautions. The only 
motive that brings Christian Missionaries away 
from their homes, to strange lands, is the urge to 
carry out Christ’s Command “Go ye into the whole 
world and teach all nations all that I have 
commanded you”. According to this view, religion 
is an individual matter and is a man’s free choice. 
Legally, nothing can be said against such 
conversions, but the non-Christian plea is that 
these so-called conversions are brought about by 
force, fraud or temptations of monetary and other 
gain, and are, not conversions in the accepted 
meaning of the term. The evidence, which has 
been brought before us, shows that a very large 
majority of persons who change their religion and 
become Christians are not converted in the real 
sense of the term. If conversion is an individual 
act one would expect deep thought and study of 
the particular religion one wanted to embrace. 

But what we have found is groups of illiterate 
Adivasis, with families and children getting their 
topknots cut and being shown as Christians. 

Most of them do not know even the rudiments of 
the new religion. To cite a typical instance Beni 
Madhao, (Bilaspur, No. 8), who was the son of a 
Malguzar, was unable to say with what book the 
Bible begins and with what it ends, and was also 
ignorant of Lord’s Prayer. Some said that their 
sins were forgiven. The Government have 
supplied us with a list of persons recently 
converted in the Surguja district after the 
promulgation of the Constitution. A perusal 
thereof will show that about 4,000 Uraons were 
converted in two years. Persons of varying ages 
from 60 years to 1 year are shown as converts 
and the list includes women and children also. 

We have met many Uraons in the course of our 
tours and we were struck very much by their total 
absence of religious feeling: In the Christian 
literature itself, it is admitted that the vast majority 
of converts are but nominal Christians. At 
Khandwa, we had the opportunity of meeting a 
body of Ballahis and we could observe that 
except those who were in one way or another 
under the obligation or control of the Missionaries, 



the Ballahis were averse to the abandonment of 
their religion. The situation as described in the 
“Children of Hari” (1950) is that the great famine 
towards the end of the nineteenth century (1897- 
1900) facilitated Missionary access to them and 
several thousands joined the Roman Catholic and 
Methodist Churches. High hopes were 
entertained about converting the whole Ballahi 
caste, but there ensued disappointment. By 
1931, it was found that scarcely 30 per cent of the 
Ballahis could be called Christian as many 
ceased to practise their religion and returned to 
Hinduism. “The great majority of Christian 
converts are Christians by name only and in 
religious belief and usage are practically Hindus. 
The main reason is that their motive is not 

religion, but mostly social and economic.So 

far only such Ballahis have remained practising 
Christians either those who went through a long 
training in the Christian schools or are 
economically dependent on the Christian 
Missionary Institutions.” (Pages 225, 226, 227). It 
is impossible to believe that they could have gone 
for religious instruction or that baptism was given 
after a period of probation. Most of the so-called 
pracharaks whom we met in the area were 
themselves thoroughly ignorant of their own 
religion and were no better than paid 
propagandists. We have reliable information that 
Mission organisations possess up-to-date records 
of Baptisms. Nothing would have been easier 
than to produce those records to show that only 
individuals, after a period of instruction, were 
baptised. It would not be unsafe to presume that 
the reluctance on the part of Roman Catholic 
Mission organisations to produce such evidence 
was in no small measure due to the fear of the 
Truth being out. On the other hand, we have 
been supplied with a complete list of more than 
4,000 persons converted in the Surguja district 
after its “invasion”, persons of varying ages and of 
entire families. As a rule, groups have been 
converted, and to find “individual conversion” has 
been an exception rather than the rule. We have 
come across cases of individual conversions only 
of persons who are village leaders and they have 
invariably been followed by “Mass Conversions” 




of the entire village soon after. We have not found 
it possible to accept the contention that the 
immediate material prosperity of these converted 
leaders bore casual relation to their conversions. 

It is true that material inducements are not offered 
in all cases directly but by a systematic parading 
of their wealth and power, grants of liberal loans, 
preferential treatment to Christians in hospitals 
and schools and various other methods of 
propaganda, a general impression is created in 
the minds of simple aboriginal that the only way to 
escape from penury is to embrace Christianity. A 
person in dire need of material assistance will not 
hesitate to express before outsiders that the only 
motive for change of religion was “inner 
conviction”. One is reminded of the familiar sight 
of poor debtors under the influence of usurious 
moneylenders admitting before Courts and 
registration authorities receipt of amounts in 
excess of sums actually advanced, to make the 
whole transaction appear to be one of charging 
reasonable interest. How else can one explain 
the large numbers of quick and effortless return of 
such converts to their original faith? To say that 
certain organisations with the indirect support of 
Hindu officials achieve such “Shuddis” is to admit 
the simplicity of the aboriginal and his readiness 
to change faith for reasons entirely unconnected 
with religion. 

64. Rev. Maqbul Masih, (Bilaspur, No. 2), 
admitted that out of 100 conversions made by him 
half the number returned to their Satnami faith. 
Similar admissions have been made by witnesses 
in Berar, e.g., Mangalbhai, Evangelist, (Amravati, 
No. 5), converted 200 but only 50 remained 
Christians. It is recorded in the report of the 
Nazarene Church of the year 1954 that a Anjani 
there is a Church “but no congregation because 
the adult members went back into 
Hinduism” (page 33). There is also an admission 
that in the previous year statistics at the India 
District Assembly showed a loss of members 
(page 19). There is, thus, no doubt that illiterate 
Aborigines and Harijans, are being converted en 
masse to Christianity in Backward and Scheduled 
areas not because of any genuine love for that 



religion but on account of material inducements 
and other temptations held out directly or 
indirectly by the various Mission organisations. 
These mass conversions were especially 
noticeable in the newly-opened territories o 
Dharamjaigarh and Surguja areas. As the 
conversions are aboriginals, Satnamis and 
Harijans an occasional attempt is made to show 
that Brahmins also have embraced Christianity. 

At Dharni a man posed himself as a Brahmin 
convert stating that he was the son of Pandit 
Ramnarayan Dube (or Mishra). But on cross- 
examination he had to disclose that he had been 
a Bairagi but was then a Christian preacher paid 
by the Church. 

DENATIONALISATION 

65. An allegation which has been seriously made 
and more seriously denied concerns the 
denationalising and subversive trend of 
Missionary propaganda. Some evidence has 
been laid before us which may be considered. 
Gandhiji said to the Missionaries that it is not 
unusual to find Christianity synonymous with 
denationalisation and Europeanisation (Christian 
Mission, page 160). The best evidence of 
denationalisation is found in a book written by an 
Indian entitled “Heritage of an Indian Christian” in 
which he seeks to find his heritage in Europe. 

How the indoctrination of the denationalising spirit 
takes place will be clear from the undermentioned 
instances which have been brought to our notice. 

66. In our exploratory tour in the Jashpur area 
there was a complains that the preachers told the 
villagers that Jawahar Raj had come and there 
was no happiness, and they assured them that 
Jawahar’s Raj would go and that the Christian Raj 
would come. This was, however, denied by the 
Christians who were present there. Nevertheless 
that statement receives some support from the 
written statement received by us from Khirkiya in 
Hoshangabad District that the expression “Jai 
Hind” was calculated to hurt the Missionaries and 
that they would wish it to be substituted by “Jai 
Yeshu”. The idea of the unique Lordship of Christ 



is propagated in the rural areas by the exhibition 
of the film “King of Kings”, which we had the 
pleasure of witnessing at Buldana. The 
supremacy of the Christian flag over the National 
flag of India was also depicted in drama which 
was staged in a school at Jabalpur. 

Chhiddi, cultivator, (Mandla, No. 7), who used to 
receive two bottles of kerosene oil and Rs. 13 per 
month to learn the tenets of Christian religion and 
induce others to do so, was asked not to greet 
others with the words “Rama Rama” but use the 
words “Jai Yeshu”. In the letter published by Dr. 
Elwin in the Hindustan Times, dated 14th June 
1944, there occurs the mention of the fact that 
those, who came under the influence of the 
Missionaries, began to greet with words “Jai 
Yeshu” instead of “Jai Rama”. 

In the article published in Gharbandhu, Ranchi, 
June 1952, at page 12 under the heading “Nirala 
Rajya Aur Useke Karmachari” there occurs the 
undermentioned passage:- 

"".AmO h_ma{ ga_wl 

gwaJwOm H$m odnVYV amA' hj 
oOg{ _grh H{$ gm_«mA' J 
o_bmZm h;." 

(English translation.) 

“Today we have before us the 
Surguja kingdom and we have to 
absorb it in the Empire of Christ”. 

In Gharbandhu of September 1953, page 13, 
there is a passage as follows 

""JV 7 _ohZ{ H{$ AYXa ][oVn_m 
[m'{ hJ)Aml H$s g§»'m 1953 
OwbmB© VH$ H$s 1570 g 
{ A'mXm hr hj. amYVr' aYmZ 

V s 

_§Ir _mY'da Ama.E_. ew-bm H$s 
Hw$N> odam{ Yr Amam{[U hm{V 
{ hJ)E A r aoV _mh Y_© H{ $ A yl 




{ B'mg{ OZVm [odl ][oVn_m H{$ 

Ona { Z'm OY_ [m H{$ a A y H$s 
_§S>br J.” 

(English translation.) 

“During the last seven months 
ending July 1953, the number of 
converts went up to 1,570. In spite 
of Chief Minister R. S. Shukla’s 
opposition, the number of those 
who are spiritually hungry and 
experiencing rebirth through Holy 
Baptism is increasing.” 

.- v ml A maV MmhVr 

hj oH$ [m{Qw>©Jb Cg [a A[Zm 
AoYH$ma 0_m'm aIZm A] N>m 
{S> X{ oOg [a CgZ{ 400 df© VH$ 
AoYH$ma 0_m aim hj : ]mV Vm 
{ hj A md- A mdZm H$s. 

gAMr ]mV Vm{ v h oXImB© [S>Vr 
hj oH$ Jm{dm H{$ AoYH$m§e 
oZdmgr dV©_mZ Xem g{ ]h]}V hr 
g§VwiQ> h0. Jm{dm H{$ _w£>r- 
A a bm{ J Am;a qhX J ahZjdmb 
{ Wm{S>{ g{ Jm{dZ Jm{dm H{$ 
qhX J emo_b hm{Z{ H{$ obE 

oMebmVj h0. v h 

ZroV Y'm"w-V Zht hj Amja Om 
{ bm{ J Bg ZroV H$m AZwgaU H 
$a ah{ hy, d{ A maV _mVm H$s 
AZroV H$a ah{ hj." 

(""oZiH$b§H$", 15 AJnV 1950, [¥iR> 124-125 [a) 

(English translation) 

“Why does India desire that 
Portugal which has been exercising 
sovereignty for 400 years over Goa 
should surrender it? The fact is that 
a large majority of residents of Goa 







are quite contented with their 
present condition. Only a handful 
of Goans resident in Goa and in 
India are shouting for the merger of 
Goa with India. This attitude is not 
justified and those who are 
following this course are giving 
unrighteous lead to India.” 

After a villager is converted to Christianity, it is 
easy to alienate his mind against his society as 
well as his country and State. Gunwant Tayade, 
(Amravati, No. 9), says that Christian convert 
changes his style of dress and assumes the air of 
a foreigner. Dr. Pickett also notices this feature of 
a convert in these words: 

“The adoption of European names, 
European modes of life and 
European dress has some times 
been followed by the development 
of a contemptuous attitude towards 
those of their fellow-countrymen 
who have continued to honour 
Indian traditions.” (Christian Mass 
Movement in India, p. 332.). 

67. In the preliminary stages an allegation was 
made on behalf of Roman Catholic Mission in 
Jashpur area that the Christian Missionaries and 
Christians were harassed by Government officers 
and that the State Government had deliberately 
adopted a policy of discrimination against the 
schools opened by the Roman Catholic 
Missionaries in Jashpur by withholding 
recognition. The complaints against officers in 
Raigarh district were apparently due to the 
criminal action taken by the officers against 
certain Christians and their cases have been 
disposed of. In other places, except in Yeotmal, 
no one complained before us against the conduct 
of Government officers. In Yeotmal, a Sub- 
Inspector of Police is said to have asked 
somebody the reason for his having embraced 
Christianity but be did not ask him to revert to 
Hinduism. (Yeotmal, Shioram Bhonsale, No. 17). 
The main complaint of the Roman Catholics of 



Raigarh district was non-recognition of some of 
their primary and secondary schools. 

We have been furnished a report by the State 
Government clarifying the position in respect of 
these schools. Although Mission primary schools 
in the Jashpur Sub-Division are rim by the 
Lutheran Mission as well as the Roman Catholic, 
it is the latter that has a chain of primary schools 
throughout the Sub-Division in villages which 
have predominantly a Catholic population. The 
exact number of schools run by. the Catholic 
Mission was never supplied to Government and at 
different times different information was given. 

The Mission authorities applied for recognition in 
1951 and stated that they had 75 lower primary 
schools and 27 full-fledged primary schools, but in 
their application made in July 1953 the number of 
full-fledged primary schools given was 32. In a 
more recent application, the Mission authorities 
have stated that they have one High School, 11 
Middle Schools, 42 Primary Schools and 54 
Feeder Schools. It appears that the number of. 
Schools run by Mission authorities is not steady 
and is being decreased or increased according to 
their convenience. The Mission authorities claim 
that they started educational work in Jashpur area 
in 1910, but that it was only in 1944 that their two 
Middle Schools and 37 Primary Schools were 
recognized for the first time by the previous State 
administration. In his memorandum No. F J/1- 
2/42, dated the 20th October 1943, the Political 
Agent, Chhattisgarh States, Raipur, wrote to the 
Superintendent, Jashpur State, that 37 Upper 
Primary and Lower Primary Mission Schools and 
two Middle Schools were recognized in the first 
instance for a period of three years at the end of 
which the question would be further examined. 

Six conditions for recognition were imposed as 
follows:- 

That- 


(1) they are open to inspection by 
State authorities. 

(2) the State is not required to give 



grant-in-aid. 

(3) religious instruction is given only 
to those who desired. 

(4) building of recognized schools 
should not at any time or under any 
circumstances be used for any 
other purpose without the express 
permission of the Darbar. 

(5) the Mission should not open any 
new Feeder Schools or Classes 
under trees or in chapels or other 
buildings in the State without 
permission. 

(6) School Transfer Certificates 
should be promptly given by the 
Mission authorities, should any 
Christian student of a Mission 
desire to join a State school. 

It is obvious that these conditions were imposed 
because the then authorities, were fully aware of 
the fact that these primary and other schools were 
being utilized merely as a medium for 
conversion. The provisional recognition expired 
after three years and there is no evidence to 
show that the Mission authorities made any 
application for renewal of the recognition. Thus, 
at the time of merger of the State with Madhya 
Pradesh, no school had recognition. According to 
rules prevalent in Madhya Pradesh, recognition is 
granted if the following two conditions are 
satisfied :- 

(1) The Management of the School 
should conform to the regulations 
prescribed by the State for 
management primary schools; 

(2) The school has to maintain a 
satisfactory standard. 

Repeated inspections were made by officers of 
the Education Department, and it was found that 
these Mission schools were managed in total 
disregard of the regulations and in the matter of 
standards, much was left to be desired. The 
Educational Officers concerned supplied the 



Mission authorities with the Education Manual 
and standing orders of the Director of Public 
Instruction, but nothing was done to comply with 
those instructions. On the other hand, serious 
irregularities were noticed by inspecting officers 
which were communicated to the authorities 
concerned. Admission registers were not 
maintained, perhaps because the Mission 
authorities did not wish to disclose such 
information as name of the pupil, his father’s 
name, his caste or religion, date of birth, etc., on 
the basis of declaration signed by the parent. 
Another serious irregularity committed was that 
the fee was charged in a most unusual manner. 
Parents were asked to contribute in kind and no 
account of this payment was maintained. The 
inspecting officers, therefore, could not find how 
much fee was charged. It was further noticed that 
these schools did not employ teachers exclusively 
for teaching work. All the teachers were 
“pracharaks” and were paid mainly for preaching 
work. In some big primary schools, most of the 
teachers employed were untrained. After merger, 
the Mission authorities were advised to introduce 
the syllabus approved in Madhya Pradesh and to 
improve the buildings in which these schools were 
held. But it was noticed that no heed was paid. 
Schools continued to be held in Chapels and as 
the teacher was mainly a preacher, most of the 
time was devoted merely to preaching, and 
difficulties were created for non-Christian boys in 
attending the schools. The Education 
Department of the State Government has given 
recognition and grant-in-aid to the Roman 
Catholic High School at Kunkuri, although this 
school did not conform to the regulations and did 
not maintain a satisfactory standard. In granting 
this recognition the main consideration was that 
the school was serving an area where facilities for 
secondary education were meagre and hence 
although the school was much below the 
standard, a liberal view was taken. We are quite 
clear that the Mission people know full well what 
was wrong with their schools and what they have 
to do to earn recognition for them, but they are 
not anxious to improve because their main aim is 
to use them for the purpose of religious 
propaganda. Considering that a complaint of this 



type has not been made from any other part of 
the State and that a very large number of 
institutions run by Christian Missions has been 
granted recognition by the State Government, we 
do not see any reason why the same Government 
should follow a different policy in respect of 
Jashpur only. We have been unable to find any 
basis for this charge. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 






PART IV 


CHAPTER I. - CONCLUSIONS (FINDINGS) 

On consideration of the material before us we 
arrive at the following conclusions of fact:- 

1. Since the Constitution of India came into force 
there has been an appreciable increase in the 
American personnel of the Missionary 
organisations operating in India. This increase is 
obviously due to the deliberate policy of the 
International Missionary Council to send 
evangelistic teams to areas of special 
opportunities opened to the Gospel by the 
Constitutional provision of religions freedom in 
some of the newly independent nations, equipped 
with new resources for mass evangelism through 
the press, film, radio and television. (Pages 27 
and 31 of the Missionary Obligation of the 
Church, 1952). 

2. Enormous sums of foreign money flow into the 
country for Missionary work, comprising 
educational, medical and evangelist activities. It 
was out of such funds received from abroad that 
in Surguja the Lutherans and other proselytizing 
agencies were able to secure nearly 4,000 
converts. 

3. Conversions are mostly brought about by 
undue influence, misrepresentation, etc., or in 
other words not by conviction but by various 
inducements offered for proselytization in various 
forms. Educational facilities such as free gifts of 
books and education are offered to secure the 
conversion of minors in the primary and 
secondary schools under the control of the 
Missions. Moneylending is one of the various 
forms adopted as a mild form of pressure to 
induce proselytization. This is found very 
prominently in the case of Roman Catholic 
Missions operating in the hill tracts of Surguja, 
Raigarh, Mandla, etc. Cases where coercion was 
reported to have been used are generally of those 



converts who wish other members of the family to 
join their Christian parents or to secure girls in 
marriage. 

4. Missions are in some places used to serve 
extra religious ends. In spite of assurances given 
by foreign and national Missionaries to 
authorities, instances of indirect political activities 
were brought to the notice of the Committee. 

5. As conversion muddles the converts sense of 
unity and solidarity with his society, there is a 
danger of his loyalty to his country and State 
being undermined. 

6. A vile propaganda against the religion of the 
majority community is being systematically and 
deliberately carried on so as to create an 
apprehension of breach of public peace. 

7. Evangelization in India appears to be a part of 
the uniform world policy to revive Christendom for 
re-establishing Western supremacy and is not 
prompted by spiritual motives. The objective is 
apparently to create Christian minority pockets 
with a view to disrupt the solidarity of the non- 
Christian societies, and the mass conversions of 
a considerable section of Adivasis with this 
ulterior motive is fraught with danger to the 
security of the State. 

8. Schools, hospitals and orphanages are used 
as a means to facilitate proselytization. 

9. Tribals and Harijans are the special targets of 
aggressive evangelization for the reason that 
there is no adequate provision of hospitals, 
schools, orphanages and other social welfare 
services in the scheduled or specified areas. 

10. The Government of Madhya Pradesh, have 
throughout followed a policy of absolute neutrality 
and non-interference in matters concerning 
religion and allegations of discrimination against 
Christians and harassment of them by 



Government officials have not been established. 
Such allegations have been part of the old 
established policy of the Missions to overawe 
local authority and to carry on propaganda in 
foreign countries. 


CHAPTER II.- RECOMMENDATIONS, WITH 
REASONS 

On the conclusions of facts reached by us we 
now proceed to deal with certain important 
considerations which arise out of them “on a 
review of the question from historical and other 
points of view”, as a prelude to the framing of our 
recommendations. 

2. At the outset we wish to guard ourselves 
against being understood as making any 
reflections upon the character, conduct or ability 
of any individual. Our adverse comments, 
wherever they occur, are to be understood as 
referring to the Mission as an institution, national 
or international. It has been suggested that the 
Missionaries, who have nothing to hide or cover, 
would like to be told frankly if there is anything 
wrong about their activities that can be put right. 
We, therefore, wish to be as frank as possible so 
that when both parties are reasonable, there 
should be no cause for misunderstanding, but on 
the contrary, the way could be cleared for proper 
understanding, mutual confidence and common 
action. 


Tribute to the Missionaries 

3. The contribution of Christian Missionaries to 
the shaping of Indian life in modern times has, 
indeed, been very impressive. Apart from the 
controversy on the point of proselytization, they 
merit high appreciation as pioneers in the fields of 
education and medical relief. The names of Rev. 
Hislop, Rev. Whitton, Rev. Robertson, Dr. 
Henderson, Dr. Martin, Rev. Dr. McFadyen and a 
host of others who served in our State as also in 
the country at large commanded great respect in 



their times. They establishes schools, colleges, 
hospitals, dispensaries, orphanages and 
institutions for the maimed and the handicapped. 
They elevated the neglected classes to high 
social position; and made them worthy of filling 
responsible posts in public services, and in all 
cases made them conscious of their dignity as 
men and inspired them with self-respect. They 
stimulated many religious and social reforms in 
the Hindu Society, and made it self-conscious. 
They have helped in the elevation of the status of 
women by giving the lead in female education. 
The Community Centres and Industrial Schools 
opened by them are, like their other institutions, 
the best of their kind. India will ever be grateful 
for the services rendered by them, no less than 
for the policy of religious neutrality generally 
pursued by the British Government, and for the 
eminent oriental scholars of Europe and America 
who brought to light the hidden treasures of the 
ancient Indian wisdom. 

Avenue of approach to the problem 

4. Now that India is independent, the question is 
as to the point of view from which the problem 
before us should be examined. We think that the 
spirit which animated the representatives of the 
various communities in India, including the 
Christians who participated in the deliberations of 
the Constituent Assembly affords us the best 
guide. Laying aside all their differences based 
upon the dogmas of their respective religions, 
they approached the national problems from a 
purely, rational point of view, and arrived at the 
unanimous conclusion that the national State of 
India should be a secular and a welfare State. 
The basis of the Constitution of India is, thus, 
Reason, not Faith; and it is from the point of view 
of Reason that we propose to approach the 
problem for a satisfactory solution. 

What is a Secular State? 

5. What is a Secular State? In negative terms, we 
may say that it is one that is not a Theocratic 



State, viz., a state in which the Government is 
believed to be under the immediate direction of 
God and in which religion and politics are 
inextricably interwoven. In a Secular State, one 
may broadly say that there is no recognition of 
Dogma, everything that comes before the 
Government concerning the temporal interests of 
the citizens is open to full and free discussion. It 
does not mean, as is generally supposed, that the 
State is against any or all religions, or that it 
overlooks moral values. The Articles in the 
Constitution of India, which relate to a Secular 
State, are 25 to 29. According to Article 25, all 
persons are equally entitled to freedom of 
Conscience, and the right freely to profess, 
practise and propagate religion, subject to public 
order, morality and health. There can be a 
dispute only on the point of the interpretation of 
the expression “propagate any religion”. 

Suffice it to say here that the State will not allow 
its citizens to do whatever they please in the 
name and under the guise of religion. Article 25 
itself specifies the limits within which religious 
freedom can be exercised. 

Past history of persecution in the name of 
religion 

6. The idea of a secular State emerged after 
centuries of experience in human history. While 
our Constitution was founded on the liberal 
principles evolved in Europe, it was not blind to 
the red signal of the history of Christian countries 
in which indescribable acts of cruelty were 
perpetrated in the name of religion. It has been 
recently calculated that the number of men who 
lost their lives in the Papal persecutions of 
heretics, the Inquisition, the Christian religious 
wars, etc., is much more than 10,000,000 (page 
293, The Riddle of the Universe, Sixth 
Impression, 1950, Thinkers’ Library). They could 
be justified only in the words of Shelley: “the word 
of God has fenced about all crimes with Holiness 
The American Constitution, which was the first in 
modern times to create a secular State, had to 
take into account the previous blood-stained 



history of the Christian Church. Jefferson, who 
drafted the Declaration of Independence of the U. 
S.A., set his face firmly against persecution and 
compulsion in the sphere of religion. “Is uniformity 
attainable?”, he asked, “Millions of innocent men, 
women and children, since the introduction of 
Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, 
imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch 
towards uniformity. What has been the effect of 
coercion? To make one half of the world fools and 
the other half hypocrites.” (Page 19 The American 
Ideal by A. Bryant). Jefferson was Vice-President 
once and President twice of the U.S.A. and 
declined that office the third time. The principle 
which he followed in the matter of religion is the 
one which underlies the Constitution of India. “As 
to myself”, he said, “my religious reading has long 
been confined to the moral branch of religion 
which is the same in all religions; while in that 
branch which consists of dogmas all differ, all 
have a different set. The former instructs us how 
to live well and worthily in society; the latter are 
made to interest our mind in the support of the 
teacher who inculcates them. Hence for one 
sermon on a moral subject, you hear ten on the 
dogmas of the sect.” (Pages 88, 89, Jefferson, 
Living Thoughts Library presented by John 
Dewey). 

Secular State does not imply Abandonment of 

Religion 

7. Thus, our Constitution has, in principle, 
followed the American model. In America, 
although the national policy affecting religion 
involved a separation of State from Church, she 
did not cease to be Christian. The American 
principle of religious liberty expressed very tersely 
is this: That the State should not forbid its citizens 
to do what their religion requires, not require them 
to do what their religion forbids. The principle 
assumes of course that what a citizen’s religion 
forbids or requires does not involve the violation 
of the fundamental human rights of those who 
hold different convictions from his own (Religious 
Liberty by M. Searle Bates, pages 90-91). It is 
clear that neither Hindus nor Muslims nor 



Christians nor Parsis cease to be Hindus, 

Muslims, Christians or Parsis because the State 
is secular. It only means that a secular State will 
not interfere with the articles of faith of any 
religion, is modes of worship and such other 
matters of a strictly spiritual nature unless the 
religious activities come in conflict with the 
fundamental rights of the citizen or the authority 
of the State founded on the Constitution. 

Respect for Jesus in India 

8. It may be mentioned that there was none 
among the non-Christians who appeared before 
us or sent written statements who showed any 
lack if reverence for Jesus. A true copy of an 
article entitled “Christianity In India Under Fire” 
written by Donald F. Ebright, published in the 
Christian Century, Chicago, in its issue, dated 
16th June, 1954, was produced before us. While 
he tells of “a mounting antagonism to Christian 
Activity in India which cannot be discounted”, he 
emphasises the attitude of the Indian people 
towards Jesus in these words: “You are not in 
India long before you discover the great 
reverence for Jesus Christ”. 

9. At this stage we come face to face with 
controversial problems. We are indebted to an 
esteemed Missionary gentleman of Berar for 
bringing to our notice the Report of the World 
Conference of missionaries held at Tambaram, 
Madras, in 1938, and to the representative of the 
Christian Council of India for favouring us with a 
copy of it. We have carefully perused it and other 
relevant publications, and it is in the light of the 
thoughts and activities recorded in them that we 
approach the problem to find a solution. 

The Church: Its Worldliness and Imperfections 

10. As indicated above, India is in no way lacking 
in reverence for Jesus. But this reverence for 
Jesus does not attract Indians to the Church for 
the reason that it appears to the Indian mind that 
the Church does not truly reflect the spirit of the 



teachings of Jesus. This is admitted in the 

“Tambaram Report” itself, in these words:. 

As a human attempt to realise God’s will it is 
incomplete and sinful; it shares in the limitations 
and imperfections of human nature; and because 
of its worldliness and divisions it is often a 
hindrance, sometimes even the greatest 
hindrance, to the coming of the Kingdom of God, i. 
e., the rule of God over all. The worldliness of the 
Church and its failure to show Christian love as 
an actual fact, is its greatest weakness, and from 

it no Christian group is free.and we should 

doubt whether the churches as they are do truly 
express the mind of Christ” (pages 27 and 29). 

.“Often, especially in countries where 

there are “younger Churches” we hear Christianity 
and the Christian Church criticised as being 
importations from foreign lands or agents of 
Western Imperialism” (ibid., page 30). 

11. This outright confession was presumably 
made in answer to what the Christian intellectuals 
in India said about the Church in a book entitled 
“Rethinking Christianity in India” at page 114, viz., 
“The Church is no longer what is called the Body 
of Christ; but it is the body of the national mind, i. 
e., of the politicians who guide national policies.” 
The same sentiment was expressed by Rev. R. 

D. Immanuel in 1950 in these words: “The 
Churches and Archbishops and Bishops have not 
been the custodians of the Lord’s Dharma; but 
camp followers of worldly statesmen”, (page 37, 
The Influence of Hinduism on Indian Christians, 
publisher by Leonard Theological College, 
Jabalpur, India). Even the writer in Life (Volume 
XX No. 3, February 6, 1956, the International 
Edition of the Special Issue Christianity, page 60) 
could not help admitting: “There is not yet any 
clear evidence of Christian revival.” He 
significantly poses the question: “Is there some 
inadequacy in the message of the Churches?” 

12. Gandhiji expressed himself strongly against 
making people members of the Church. “If Jesus 
came to earth again” he said, “he would disown 
many things that are being done in the name of 
Christianity. It is not he who says Lord, Lord that 






is a Christian but he that doeth the will of the 
Lord.” (page 165, Christian Missions : Navajivan 
Press). These words were spoken in 1935. 


Missionary Movement of Mass Conversion, 
1930-1940 

13. The profound significance of Gandhiji’s 
statement will not be clear without the knowledge 
of the political situation as it developed in the 
decade 1930-1940 since the Morley-Minto 
Reforms of 1909 which followed the agitation over 
the partition of Bengal. It was unfortunately 
discoloured by anarchical crimes. Sir Andrew 
Fraser, the Lt. Governor of Bengal, wrote, in 1912 
(3rd edition), a book entitled “Among Indian 
Rajahs and Ryots” in which he propounded the 
doctrine that the hope of India lay in the elevating 
and civilizing power of Christianity (p. 275), and 
that “She ought to receive of our best” (p. 276). 

He said, “all parts of India, so far as education 
and association with the West have directly 
affected life, feel the unrest which comes from 
intellectual awakening and the revival of national 
spirit” (p. 278) and it seemed to him that “to give 
them civilization without Christianity is to withhold 
that to which our civilization owes all that is best 
in it and by which alone it can be kept pure and 

healthful” (p. 279).“to leave them without 

religion may make them a probable source of 
danger in the future history of the race” (page 
279). In 1920, Gandhiji began his non-violent 
movement, taking his stand on the Geeta and 
rallying round him the masses including the rural 
population. The Report of the Royal Commission 
on Agriculture in India was published in 1928. In 
that report there was a very significant statement, 
viz., “Throughout our investigation we have 
constantly been impressed with the thought that 
mere material improvement alone will not bring 
lasting benefit to the agricultural 

population” (page 58), 

14. After Gandhiji launched his movement for 
Indian Independence the contest was given a 
religious turn by the Muslims with their demand 
for a separate independent State. The 




Missionaries were straining their nerve to break 
up the solidarity of the Hindu society as will be 
shown in the sequel. 

15. The Report of the Simon Commission was 
published in 1929. It recommended the exclusion 
of the aboriginal areas from the purview of the 
newly constituted Government, apparently for the 
purpose of according to them special protection 
so as to facilitate their advance as quickly as 
possible to the level of the population as a whole. 
The Missionaries came forward to take advantage 
of the provision with a scheme for proselytization 
of the rural and aboriginal people. In response to 
the initiative of the Jerusalem Meeting of the 
International Missionary Council and the invitation 
of the National Christian Council of India, Dr. 
Kenyan, L. Butterfield (appointed by the 
International Missionary Council), visited rural 
India and focussed attention “on the vast area of 
human need and limitless spiritual possibilities”, in 
the words of Dr. J. R. Mott, who wrote the preface 
to his report called “The Christian Mission in Rural 
India (1930)”. That report, referred to Gandhiji’s 
statement made at the outset of the campaign of 
civil disobedience, viz., “the future of India will be 
decided not in her cities but in her villages” (p. 42, 
Report), and also to the aforesaid observation of 
the Royal Agricultural Commission made at page 
58 of its report. (Butterfield’s Report, page 146). 
Dr. Butterfield called for cooperative and united 
work among the Missions and Mission institutions 
to make clear that there was a powerful Christian 
enterprise in India which was to win the sixty 
million outcastes and an equal number of 
unprivileged masses to a more abundant personal 
and social life. He suggested that the problem of 
the Indian villages should be laid before the 
American public and their co-operation enlisted. 
He pointed out the forces which had to be faced 
in these words: “the urge of the Christian 
enterprise to permeate and lead the ethical and 
spiritual advance in India will hire to meet in India, 
as elsewhere, the forces of secularism, of an 
exaggerated nationalism, perhaps of 
Communism, certainly of a material industrialism.” 
As an offset he recommended that Christianity 



must present in an aggressive and effective 

fashion first Jesus Himself.the type of 

Christian individual embodying in some measure 
at least the spirit of Jesus and a Christian social 
order. (Butterfield Report, pages 126-127). 

16. The Round Table Conferences came to be 
held in 1930, 1931 and 1932. In that hectic 
period of excitement, the Laymen’s Foreign 
Missions Enquiry Committee was appointed in 
America. It consisted of 15 distinguished citizens 
of America, presided over by Dr. Hocking. In their 
report was adumbrated the vision of a worldwide 
Church and world unity in civilization as 
Christianity was not Western but universally 
human (Rethinking Missions, page 8). It 
propounded that the original objective of the 
Mission was the conquest of the world by 
Christianity. It was a world benevolence 

conceived in terms of a world campaign.the 

universal claim of one historical fact: the Work of 
Christ. (Page 35, ibid). It declared that for 
Christianity God is not far off but in all actions, in 
ploughing, sowing, reaping, etc., (page 52), and 
that Christianity was prepared with a polytheistic 
faith to see God in varied aspects (page 53). In 
tones 6f imperialism it proclaimed “Missions must 
go on because concrete obligations have been 
assumed by our institutions to the peoples of the 
East which could not fairly be abandoned” (p. 5, 
ibid). 

17. That report was presumably intended to 
supply the spiritual background to the Missionary 
adventure to present in an aggressive and 
effective fashion first Christ himself, etc., as had 
been recommended by Dr. Butterfield in his 
report. 


Mass Conversion 

18. The natural result of this united vigorous 
activity was that many mass conversions were 
effected. Dr. Pickett, obtaining 25,000 dollars 
from the Rockefeller Foundation and 10,000 
dollars from Dr. Mott, carried out a survey and 





published his report entitled Christian Mass 
Movement in India, in 1933. (Gharbandhu 1931, 
July, page 104). Dr. Mott wrote a foreword to it. 

In a conversation with Gandhiji in which he 
described his work of mass conversion as a work 
on behalf of the oppressed, Gandhiji said, “I could 
understand the Muslim organisations doing this 
but the Christian Mission claims to be a purely 
spiritual effort. It hurt me to find the Christian 
bodies vying with the Muslims and the Sikhs in 
trying to add to the number of their fold. It 
seemed to be an ugly performance and a travesty 
of religion” (P. 420, Christian Proselytism in India 
by Parekh). The World Missionary Conference 
held at Tambaram in 1938 expressed itself deeply 
moved by “the cry of the multitudes for 
deliverance” and proclaimed “the great need for a 
true and living faith” (page 16, Tambaram 
Report). Missionary bodies, like the Church 
Missionary Society and the Salvation Army, 
rushed forward to save the souls of “the 
underprivileged millions”, apparently with a view 
to make out a case for separate treatment of the 
Christian community. As money began to pour 
into the country Gandhiji exclaimed: “Mammon 
has been sent to serve India and God has 
remained behind” and Dr. Mott said “money is 
stored up personality” (page 245, Christian 
Missions, Navajivan Press). 

19. It is remarkable that in the Census of 1941, 
heads were counted communitywise, not on the 
basis of religion. Mr. Yeats, the Census 
Commissioner of India in his short note on 
Community (Census of India, Volume I, Chapter 
IV, page 29, Part I, Table) tried to explain the 
mystery. On the calculations made by Shri S. N. 
Parashar (in his article Published in Mahratta, 
February 16, 1946), in the light of that note, the 
actual increase in the Christian community was 
found to be 34,74,128 approximately, in the 
decade 1931-1941. (PP. 448-450, Christian 
Proselytism in India, by M. C. Parekh.) 

In Hyderabad the increase in the Christian 
population was 141.6 per cent in the decade 
1921-31, and 45.6 per cent in the decade 1931 - 



41. (P. 103 the Directory of Churches and 
Missions in India and Pakistan, 1951.) 

20. Another noteworthy feature was that in Burma 
the Karens like the Muslims set up a demand for 
a separate State and pressed their claim before 
the Round Table Conference. This move was 
evidently inspired by the Missionaries, judging 
from the remark found in the Rethinking Missions 
at page 138 as follows: 

“The Missionaries gave them 
education and through the 
translation of the Bible a written 
language. This remarkable 
achievement, the giving of a 

nationality to the people .has 

resulted in one embarrassment. 

The Missionaries are held 
responsible for breaking apart an 
important minority group. The 
Karens have today a strong 
national society which has sent a 
delegation to London to plead for a 
Karen nation.” (Italics ours.) 

21. Judging from the nature of the part taken by 
the Missionaries in the decade 1930-40 we are 
inclined to think that their activities were directed 
to segregate Christian Indians and to encourage 
them to demand special treatment. Their 
activities were thus clearly political. 

22. One may think that this is but a history of a 
bygone age which has disappeared with the 
attainment of Independence by India in 1947. To 
think so is to misunderstand the situation. 

23. Towards the end of the World War II the 
ecumenical movement designed to unify the 
Christians of the world under the aegis of a 
Universal Church became very vigorous. In 1945 
the Commission on a just and Durable Peace 
stressed as one of the four points of peace 
requiring Christian action the development of 
Christian unity on a world-wide basis and affirmed 




that the Christian forces of the world must 
“become a well organised and militant 
minority’ (page 57, World Christian Handbook, 
1952). When we asked for an explanation of the 
phrase “militant minority” the representative of the 
National Christian Council replied that it was an 
unfortunate phrase, but that it meant only 
“energetic efforts”, (Italics ours). 

24. It will be clear from what follows that the 
movement which was started in 1930, if not 
before, is now found flourishing in greater vigour, 
backed by much increased resources in men and 
money. It is a continuation of the same process 
on a wider scale. In Christian Missions in Rural 
India it was proposed to convert 600,000 villages 
to overcome the forces of secularism, of 
exaggerated nationalism, Communism and 
material industrialism (page 127). The 
ecumenical movement follows the same line. Rev. 
McLeish, a trustee of the World Dominion Press 
which maintains a close liaison with the 
International Missionary Council (page 94, World 
Christian Hand Book, 1952), proposed the 
conversion of 600,000 villages in the course of 10 
years (page 7, address at the Conference of the 
Fellowship of the International Missionary 
Council, June 1-3, 1948), and the objective of the 
ecumenical movement is to combat, besides 
Communism, “the Utopian expectations of the 
non-Christian religions” (page 28, Elements of 
Ecumenism), and discountenance the rapid 
development of modem technology and industry 
in Asia. (Pages 93-94, Christianity and Asian 
Revolution.). 

25. It may be recalled that Dr. Mott, who was in 
the vanguard of the Missionary activity in the 
decade 1930-40 and contributed 10,000 dollars to 
the survey of the mass movement ( Gharbandhu , 
July, 1931, page 104), carried out by Dr. Pickett 
and wrote prefaces to the “Christian Mass 
Movement in India” and “the Christian Mission in 
Rural India” and also had discussions with 
Gandhiji on the subjects of mass movement and 
the use of money (which he contended was 
stored up personality), had then been regarded 



as a highly practical Missionary statesman (page 
8, Elements of Ecumenism). When the World 
Council of Churches became a thoroughly 
organised structure in 1948 at Amsterdam be 
became its Honorary President. It may be recalled 
that Mr. Dulles and Rev. Lakra were also present 
at the Amsterdam Conference. 

Attitude and Activities of the Ecumenical 
Movement 

26. The attitude of the World Council of Churches 
was greatly influenced by the experience the 
Missionaries had m the struggle with the rising 
tide of Indian nationalism. They found 
nationalism pervading, not only the Hindus as a 
community, but also the educated section of the 
Christian Indians. The policy of the ecumenical 
movement in regard to both of them is made clear 
in the two paragraphs which follow: 

“In spite of many efforts in many 
forms it cannot be pretended that 
Christianity has made any serious 
impact on Hindu learning or the 
Hindu upper and middle classes; its 
successes have been among the 

outcaste groups.the capacity 

of Hindu culture for absorbing other 
elements appears once again in the 
recommendations on religious 
teachings of the Radhakrishnan 
University Commission. The task of 
Christian Churches and Missions in 

Hindu India is.to seek ways of 

communication with Hindu culture 
at its points of need. The time for 
this may be short in view of the 
possibility of Communist infiltration 
from within or pressure from 
without.” (italics ours). 

“In the old Mission fields there are 
now Churches touched by new 
nationalisms, independent in 
temper and organisation and yet 





needing help from other Churches. 

The act of giving and receiving, 
within the context of the Church and 

the Churches.involves.a 

new understanding of the nature of 

the Church.the need of 

particular Churches to be rooted in 
the soil and yet supra-national in 
their witness and obedience” (page 
14 and 29, World Christian 
Handbook,1952). (Italics ours.) 

27. To come to grips with the adamant Hindu 
society, phrases such as “Hindu Nationalism”, 
“Utopian expectations of non-Christian religions” 
came to be coined. The Hindu belief that all 
religions truly practised lead to the divine is 
ridiculed as a dogma. (Page 136, Christianity and 
Asian Revolution). Hinduism was quite free from 
the secular idea of nationalism until it had to face 
the aggressive attacks of the Christian religion 
which came armed. There were declarations as 
that of Archbishop of Canterbury that Christianity 
was an Imperial religion (page 234, Imperialism 
by Hobson). To call the liberal attitude of the 
Hindu religion as a dogma is tantamount to 
intolerance of toleration itself. The Hindu is 
denounced because like the Christians he does 
not believe that outside his own religion there is 
no salvation, but, as had been remarked by 
Rousseau, such a dogma is good only in a 
Theocratic Government (Chapter VIII, Social 
Contract). The action he proposed was “whoever 
dares to say outside the Church there is no 
salvation ought to be driven from the State unless 
the State is the Church and the Prince, the 
Pontiff. Such a dogma is good only in a 
Theocratic Government; in any other, it is fatal”. 
Western Christianity unfortunately overlooks the 
fact that it seeks to foist upon the world the tribal 
God of Mount Sinai. Hinduism, like other far- 
Eastern religions, is not a tribal nationalistic 
religion. They are all international religions, 
except Shintoism for the reason that in none of 
them is the divine a God of the chosen people 
(page 402, The Meeting of East and West, 
Northrop). 






28. Why should Christianity fight shy of the 
absorbing power of Hinduism? Christianity could 
hold its ground in India for centuries without any 
opposition. It was only after Western Christianity 
came armed with the Portuguese that there 
sprang up resistance to it. One fails to see why 
the introduction of St. John’s Gospel in University 
studies upsets the Universal Church. The Hindu 
has no objection to the Geeta or the Upanishads 
being read or studied by any one in the world. 
Presumably the fear that may be haunting 
Western Christianity is that if St. John’s Gospel is 
studied in Indian Universities it will have to face 
the True Jesus that will be brought to light. 

29. It is remarkable that the Missionary appeal is 
addressed to those who live “in conditions of 
abject, poverty and under oppressive system”, to 
exploit the economic distress to which the country 
was reduced as the result of colonialism. Everett 
Cattell says: “Our point of contact, therefore, with 
any soul to whom we wish to give the Gospel, is 
first to find out what his particular sense of need 
may be and confront it with Christ. It may not at 
first even be expressed in spiritual terms. The 
late Paget Wilkes in his ‘Dynamic of Service’ 
points out that in a very fruitful service in Japan 
he almost never saw anyone converted through a 
sense of sin. That came later through gazing at 
the Saviour. But most men come with a need, 
social, physical, economic, or the like and an 
awakened faith that Christ could meet that 
need.” (page 17, Ways of Evangelism). The 
distress of the poor looms large in the evidence 
before us as well as in the reports of the 
Tambaram and Willingen Conferences. This is a 
disruptive method followed by the Missionaries for 
the reason that Christianity was originally a 
religion of the proletariat and was in opposition to 
the favoured classes from the beginning and it, 
therefore, carries wherever it turns the seed of 
disruption (page 56, Travel Diary of a Philosopher 
by Count Keyserling). As a creed is a tool (in the 
words of Sir A Toynbee) it is used as a weapon to 
combat the creed of Communism as also to 
disrupt non-Christian societies. 



30. Gandhiji resented this approach to these 
classes and asked the Missionary to influence the 
minds of the intelligentsia, but he was told that the 
uneducated and the unsophisticated classes were 
more responsive to religious appeal as they were 
in real need of it. The real reason is to be found 
in the Census Report of 1881 (Bombay), where 
Mr. Baines stated as follows:- 

“The greater receptivity of the 
member of the lower class is due to 
the emotional appeal which neither 
his intelligence nor his education 
disposes him to enlarge” (quoted at 
page 79, Census of India, 1891, 

Volume XI, Part I). 

That places the converts entirely 
under the domination of the 
Missionary and wipes out his 
individuality altogether. 

31. We have already described how money 
flowed into the Surguja district to effect mass 
conversions after it was opened to Missionary 
work, pursuant to the liberal provisions of the 
Constitution of India. The mass conversions were 
made exactly in accordance with the instructions 
contained in the Missionary Obligation of the 
Church, 1952, published by the International 
Missionary Council. At page 27 it says, “In wide 
regions of the world the major problem is hunger 
.in the present situation there are 


opportunities for the Church.Constitutional 

provisions of religious freedom within some of the 
newly independent nations.new resources 


for mass evangelism through the press, film, radio 
and television”. There is evidence before us that 
the people are called by some kind of public 
advertisement, offering inducements of loans and 
they are regarded as enquirers when they appear 
in response to the call. What species of spiritual 
impulse prompted the crowds to embrace 
Christianity en masse can well be imagined from 
what follows:- 






1 st February 1952 ... 10 families consisting of 69 
members. 

3rd February 1952 ... 28 families consisting of 
144 members. 

5th February 1952 ... 18 families consisting of 85 
members. 

10th February 1952 ... 16 families consisting of 
65 members. 

(Gharbandhu, May 1952, page 5.) This is but an 
illustrative case. 

32. One wonders whether this is the way of 
diffusing spiritual illumination. 

Ecumenical Attitude towards Christian India 

33. As regards the Christian Indians, the question 
arose as to the meaning of “supra-national”, 
occurring in the passage cited above. This word 
was explained to us as having a spiritual 
significance. Rev. Lakra, however, admitted that a 
Church, like the Church of England, could not be 
supra-national. 

34. There was also some obscurity about the 
word “obedience”. Before us it was divergently 
interpreted as “obedience to God” or to “Christ” or 
to “Church”. When funds were supplied to Rev. 
Lakra, the expression “partnership in obedience” 
was explained as implying obedience to Christ’s 
command to spread the Gospel (page 6, 
Gharbandhu, October 1951). The question, 
however, still remains, as to who would take 
proper action if the condition is broken. That 
necessarily assumes some authority to call the 
delinquent to account. The obedience would, 
therefore, be to that authority. 

35. It appears clear that in view of the fact that 
“the Indian Church lacks economic maturity” and 
even “the most highly organised National 

Christian Council.has to be largely paid from 

abroad” (page 13, World Christian Flandbook, 
1952), the control rests with the authority abroad. 




Attempt to Alienate the Indian Christian 
Community from their Nation 


36. There also arose the question as to the 
meaning of the phrase “rooted in the soil”. This 
was interpreted by the International Missionary 
Conference, held at Willingen, in 1952, as 
meaning “related to the soil”. The Church can 
only be “rooted in Christ” (page 9, The Missionary 
Obligation of the Church, 1952). Upon this 
interpretation, it was emphasised that the task 
before the younger Churches was a formidable 
one, as they had to be “rooted in Christ”, first 
before they could be “related to the soil” (page 
271, Christianity and Asian Revolution). As. one 
reads the Missionary literature one comes across 
phrases such as “colony of heaven”, “in the 
country but not of the country”, “historical 
community of the redeemed”. All these smack of 
extra-territoriality which figured so prominently in 
Chinese Treaties. It appears to us that the 
Missionary “strategy” (a word which recurs 
frequently) is to detach the Christian Indian from 
his nation. It may well be a suspicion, but it is 
strengthened by certain views expressed by 
prominent persons. Dr. Pickett of North India 
speaking in the Assembly of the World Council of 
Churches in 1954, remarked that one of the 
reasons for the development of Church Unity was 
to obviate the danger of the growth of nationalism 
as the rational churches were apt to reflect the 
spirit of political nationalism (Page 544, National 
Christian Council Review, December 1954). 

37. Rt. Rev. J. E. L. Newbigin, who is the 
Chairman of a group of thinkers within the World 
Council of Churches (page 26, Elements of 
Ecumenism), laid stress on the fact that 
Christians were the chosen race in these words : 
“We cannot understand the New Testament 

without the Old.the central theme of that 

book is God choosing (election) a people to be 

His Own People.now (and this is the next 

great point) we, who read it today in the Church 
read it as members of that People.” (page 75, 
National Christian Council Review, February 
1954). 





38. In an article “Christian Awake”, it is 
propounded that “when there is a conflict of 
loyalty between Christ and country, the true 
Christian has necessarily to choose obedience to 
Christ”, (page 158, National Christian Council 
Review, April 1955). We have before us a 
pamphlet entitled: “For Christ and Country”, 
issued in America. We wonder whether the 
Americans would accept this interpretation of the 
duty of a Christian in America. 

39. In India, there is the danger of such a conflict 
arising for the reason that in the report of the 
Commission on Christian Social Action, 
“competition” is preferred to “co-existence” (page 
114, 1955 Blue Book Annual Reports of Officers 
and Boards of the Evangelical and Reformed 
Church). Here there is room for disagreement. 
Co-existence implies “live and let live”, as also “let 
us live together”, i.e., it may include co-operation, 
but it cannot include competition which means 
“either you live or I live”. In co-operation, rewards 
are shared, in competition they are monopolised. 

40. The information which has come before us 
regarding the Abundant Life Movement started 
with the aid of the funds received from America, 
presumably in terms of “the strategy of the 
Christian enterprise to win these great under¬ 
privileged masses to a more abundant personal 
and social life” (page 126, Christian Mission in 
Rural India) shows that it is confined to the 
converted Christians and intended to encounter 
Communism. The Jeevan Tara Movement in 
Damoh and the farm purchased by Dr. Clines in 
the Yeotmal district are also meant to benefit the 
Christian converts. Nowhere did we find 
Christians taking part in the nation-building 
activities. At page 158, National Christian Council 
Review, April 1955, even a Christian writer admits 
that Indian Christians, as a whole, have not 
identified themselves with nation-building 
activities. 


Danger of Foreign Control during Crisis 



41. The tendency to keep the Christians, separate 
from the mass of the people and under 
Missionary control engenders the suspicion that 
they might be used in critical times to promote 
foreign interests, as was attempted to be done by 
the Missionaries of Chhota Nagpur, by offer the 
offer of 10,000 armed Kols and by Dr. Mason in 
Burma, of a battalion of Karens, in the critical year 
of 1857 (page 206, History of Missions in India, by 
Richter). The recent hostile attitude of the Karens. 
Nagas and Ambonese points in the same 
direction (p. 215, Christianity and Asian 
Revolution). It is, therefore, necessary to have a 
strict watch on the activities of Missionaries in the 
hill tribes areas. 

42. The idea underlying the Christian Mission in 
Rural India (Dr. Butterfield’s report) was to 
facilitate mass proselytization. The work was 
conceived either to forestall the national effort to 
rehabilitate the villages or to show that without 
Christianising the villages the rehabilitation of the 
villages was not possible. But what do the 
Missions now think about the work of the 
Government? In the Blue Book Annual Report of 
the Evangelical and Reformed Church, for the 
year 1954, it is said, “India is changing so rapidly 
that even those who are closely connected with 
the country through our Missionary endeavours 
find it difficult to keep up with every phase of our 
political, economic, social and religions 
development. Within seven years after gaining 
Independence, India has moved into a place of 
world leadership. In spite of adverse 
circumstances intensified by drought, floods, and 
other calamities, Communism and resurgent 
Hinduism have been held in check. India’s 
progress in social and economic welfare leaves 
one astounded. Two and a half million additional 
acres have been brought under irrigation during 
the past year. Some 5,000 wells were dug to 
provide a more adequate water-supply. 

Foodgrains were increased by eleven million tons 
last year in spite of devastating floods. New 
fertilizer plants, research centres, laboratories, 
schools and colleges are the order of the day. 
Recently, divorce laws were enacted which prove 



how quickly India is forgetting her old religions 
teachings and social customs. To what extent 
can Christ be regarded “the Hope of the World” in 
such a situation? Is man after all “the architect of 
his own salvation?” What relevance have 
Christian Missions in a country like India? 

Perhaps the remarks of a leading Hindu 
gentleman in Raipur indicated the answer when 
he said, “These plans will succeed if character is 
built up” and an honoured leader of our 
Evangelical and Reformed Church said, “we must 
provide the leaven”. Jesus announced “I am the 
Way, the Truth and the Life”, (page 61). 

43. It is not easy to understand why the Missions 
should be surprised if man becomes the architect 
of his own salvation. Perhaps it is because the 
Missions look askance at “material industrialism” 
and “the Utopian expectations” of non-Christian 
religions. 

44. The Hindu gentleman must have known that 
centuries before Christ the, Indian Rishis 
proclaimed “Truth wins ever, not falsehood; with 
truth is paved the way to the divine (Mundaka 
Upanishad quoted at page 67, Discovery of India 
by Shri Nehru). To the Hindu, “character” has 
ethical implications; but one usually finds that in 
the Missionary literature and speeches character 
is stressed as “Christian character”. What is the 
kind of Christian character liased on truth that the 
Missionary wants to build up? Is it to create men 
of Christian character that the mass movements 
in Formosa have been initiated? (page 49, World 
Christian Handbook 1952). Perhaps, it is 
necessary to do so for the reason that Chiang-Kai- 
Shek proclaimed himself as a “follower of Jesus 
Christ” and added that the success of his 
revolution depended upon men of faith and of 
character and that the best of his officers were 
Christians and the large number of his Generals 
were the members of the Church! (pages 424- 
425, The Meeting of East and West by Northrop). 


44-A. On many occasions Gandhiji expressed his 
suspicion about the ulterior motives of Missionary 
enterprise. Dr. Asirvatham points out that such a 



suspicion springs from the manifestation of the 
American foreign policy in such aggressive forms 
as in the slogan : “Let Asians fight Asians” (page 
35, Christianity in the Indian Crucible). 

45. As the United States has no territory abroad 
she tries to compensate for this by establishing 
military bases and military alliances (page 22, 
Christianity and Asian Revolution). It appears 
that by this drive of proselytization in India she 
desires to create psychological bases. The 
persons who came before us expressed such 
suspicions about American aims very strongly, 
and this is also pointed out at page 23 of the 
aforesaid book in these words : “The West is 
using the threat of Communism as an excuse to 
regain political mastery over the liberated 
peoples”. The American Missionary activity in 
some of its aspects, is too tinged with the anti¬ 
communist world strategy to elude notice (p. 29, 
World Christian Handbook). Morrison in his 
report on the subject of “Religious Liberty in the 
Near East, 1948”, also notes in more places than 
one that there is a suspicion of the foreign 
Mission being the agents of foreign political 
power. His conclusion is remarkably frank in 
these words : “No doubt in the past Missions have 
been used to promote political ends” (page 49). 

46. In a lecture which the Director of the 
Commission of the Churches on International 
Affairs, Dr. O. Frederick Nolde, delivered in 1954, 
he declared that the effectiveness of the United 
Nations would be dependent upon the extent to 
which real world community existed recognising 
no national frontiers. He accordingly asked the 
Christians who are party to the ecumenical 
fellowship which recognises no national frontiers 
to view the problem in three aspects, viz. (i) the 
standpoint of faith and life within the churches, (ii) 
the need to promote world community, (iii) the 
United States “potential contribution to world 
peace and justice” (National Christian Council 
Review April 1954, page 195). 

47. As one reads the Christian literature one 
comes across phrases like ‘colony of heaven’ 



‘historical community of the redeemed’, a 
Christian being “in but not of the country” 
suggesting that a Christian does not belong to the 
country of which he is a citizen and on this basis 
he is expected to view the problems from the 
point of view of the United States idea of peace 
and justice. 

48. It must not be understood here that we cast 
any reflection on the United States’ desire for 
peace and justice. Our object is only to point out 
that while in Christian countries the loyalty 
between Christ and country is riot divided it 
comes to be divided in non-Christian countries 
like India. The “World Christian community” 
suggests the idea of Christendom under he 
domination of the West for the achievement of 
world peace through Western unity and 
supremacy in armed strength. The drive for 
proselytization appears to stem from the 
conception of denationalising the Christians in 
India in the way expressed by Lord Bryce 
“community of religion, in carrying the educated 
native Christians far away from the native Hindu or 
Muslim, brings him comparatively near to the 
European” (page 57, Volume I, Studies in History 
and Jurisprudence). 

49. Unfortunately, some of the features 
conspicuous in the history of the Missionary 
enterprise in Asia betray its political character. 

Historical Missions and Politics 

50. When Carpini was sent to China in the 13th 
century apparently to expound to the heathen the 
truth of Christianity, he went in reality on a 
Mission of Espionage, an instance of religion 
being used for political purposes (pages 376-77, 
Asia and Western Dominance-Panikkar). Writing 
about Missionary activities in China even the 
Missionary historian Latourette had to point out 
that “the church had become a partner in Western 
Imperialism” (page 425 ibid). 


51. In Japan also it was discovered in 1596 that 



the Christian Missions were being used for 
political purposes. A Spanish Captain of a ship 
admitted that the object of converting the people 
to Christianity was to secure allies in conquering 
their Mother country (page 843, Story of 
Civilization by Durant). It is with reference to 
Japan that Sir A. Toynbee observes that an 
aggressive foreign religion will in fact her an 
immediate menace to a society that it is assailing 
on account of “the danger of the converts being 
used as a fifth column” (p. 58, The World and the 
West B.B.C, Reith Lecture-1952). 

52. In India, St. Xavier enlisted the support of the 
Portuguese King in putting political pressure upon 
people to become Christians (page 44, History of 
Christian Missions, Richter). That was because 
“the Portuguese were confronted with a 
civilization older than that of Europe, with men 
more highly educated and more deeply learned 
than their own priests and men of letters, and with 
religions and customs and institutions whose 
wisdom equalled their antiquity (page 16, 
Albuquerque, by Morse Stephens: Rulers of India 
Series). It was from this time that Christian 
theology has been carrying on a severe struggle 
with the Indian religious philosophy. 

53. The Protestants did not enter the field until the 
beginning of the 19th century. Missions to foreign 
fields had not always been regarded as the 
immediate duty of the Church. Melancthon 
thought that Christ’s injunction which had been 
given to the Apostles had already been fulfilled 
(Rethinking Missions, page 7). Even as late as 
1796, Dr. Hamilton, declared in the general 
Assembly of the Church of Scotland that to 
spread abroad the knowledge of the Gospel 
among the heathen nations was highly romantic 
and visionary (page 18. Missionary Principles and 
Practice by Speer). But what is noteworthy is that 
the three bursts of Christian Mission activities 
after the Apostolic Epoch have been 
contemporaneous with periods of military, 
exploring and commercial activities (page 10, 
Rethinking Missions). The business interest and 
the naval and military genius including the 



“younger sons” were the allies of the imperialist. 
To this motley company of businessmen, fighting 
men and younger sons came to be added 
“another incongruous element the “Missionary” 
The 19th century saw a sudden expansion of 
Missionary efforts. “Going out to preach a 
Kingdom not of this world, Missionaries found 
themselves very often builders of very earthly 
empires.” (Page 63, Imperialism and World 
Politics by Parker Thomas Moon). As Professor 
Robbinson and Beard have well expressed the 
matter: “the way for imperialism has been 
smoothed by the Missionaries.” There have been 
always ardent Christians ready to obey the 
command “go ye into all the world and preach the 
Gospel to every creature” (page 25, World Politics 
in Modern Civilization by Dr. Barnes). As Dr. 
Dennis, Mr. Me. Donald, Professor, Latourette 
and Professor E. C. Moore have shown, the 
Missionary movement has always been closely 
linked up wish the expansion of European 
Civilization and the growth of modern imperialism. 
(Page 25, ibid). Gospel, glory and gold was the 
slogan consciously or unconsciously of the new 
order (Page 27, ibid). All this is also pointed out 
by Sir A. Toynbee, in B. B. C. Reith Lectures, 
1952, at page 2. 

Evangelism not a Religious Philosophy but a 

Force 

54. The writer of the article in “Life” Magazine 
(February 1956), referred to above observes : “to 
Western Europeans communism is not so much a 
philosophy as a force”. This was very true in the 
case of Christianity as it appeared to the Indians 
when it entered this country. This is borne out by 
Abbe Dubois’ remark that the Hindus soon found 

that those Missionaries.were in fact nothing 

else but disguised Feringis.who had of late 

invader their country (Page XXV, Hindu Manners, 
Customs and Ceremonies, Clarendon Press, 
1906). 


Church in India not Independent 





55. Rev. J. Sadiq said that the undermentioned 
Churches in India were members of the World 
Council: 

(1) Church of India, Burma, etc. 

(2) United Church of Northern India. 

(3) Church of South India. 

(4) Mar Thoma Syrian Church of 

Malabar. 

(5) Orthodox Syrian Church of 

Malabar. 

(6) Evangelical Lutheran Church of 

India. 

56. It is said that the Churches in India are 
independent. It, however, came to our notice that 
the foreign Missionaries were still closely 
associated with the Churches and exercised 
influence through the purse. “As long as I have to 
administer money, or be in a place where my 
‘authority’ is the deciding point”, says Rev. R. M. 
Bennett, “then I begin to wonder whether my 
presence here in India is more of a hindrance 
than a blessing” (p. 379, National Christian 
Council Review, October 1955). This can be 
illustrated by the instance of the United Church of 
Northern India. That Church is a union of 
Churches formed through the work and witness of 
11 Missions in Northern India. It depends for its 
existence upon the funds supplied by many 
assisting foreign Missionary organisations which 
are either national or denominational. Their list is 
to be found on pages 15 and 16 of the Christian 
Hand Book of India, 1954-55. The Churches 
which supply funds through their respective 
missions continue to be national as before. These 
Churches exercise control over the Indian 
Churches through tile operation of the condition 
‘partnership in obedience’. Although the money 
coming from abroad is styled donation it is a 
donation subject to the above condition. The 
Indian Churches receiving the money would 
certainly be accountable to the source from which 
the money proceeds. They are, therefore, 
accountable to some authority above them in a 
foreign country. This was the point stressed by 
Rev. R. C. Das, before us. To say that X, who 



receives money for a certain purpose and is 
accountable to Y, is an equal partner with Y is a 
contradiction in terms. “The partnership in 
obedience” savours of the Subsidiary Alliance 
which the conquerring British had with the Nizam. 

Meaning of Supra-Nationalism 

57. We have shown how supra-nationalism is 
propagated among Christians in India. It really 
means allegiance to a Theocratic State, styled the 
Universal Church. Even if it meant 
internationalism, one fails to see how one can be 
an internationalist without being a nationalist, as 
pointed out by Dr. Asirvatham. Nationalism, 
which was the predominant motive force in the 
past is now discarded in the West as a political 
disease (Preface to the Nationalities of Europe, 
Cambridge University Press). In his Reith 
Lectures 1952, Sir A. Toynbee, deplores that in 
Asia nationalism should have obtained a 
foothold. We, however, find that the Western 
Churches Which are members of the World 
Council of Churches still continue to be national 
as ever before, and they exercise control over the 
different churches in India through the aid which 
they send. 

Inordinate Increase of American Missionary 
Personnel 

58. If the Churches in India are really independent 
they could be trusted to look after their own affairs 
independently without the aid of the foreign 
personnel; but it is remarkable chat there has 
been a striking increase in the number of foreign 
Missionaries. Assuming that they have come out 
to India, inspired by compassion for the needy 
and the distressed, it is not clear why they should 
concentrate their compassion on particular 
sections with a view to their proselytization. This 
tends to show that the object of this substantial 
increase in the foreign personnel is other than 
purely spiritual. This has been well expressed by 
Dr. Asirvatham in these words, “One may 
speculate on the amount of tolerance that would 



be shown by the United States if the stream of 
Hindu Missionaries to that country became as 
great as the stream of Christian Missionaries to 
India.” (P. 28, Christianity in the Indian Crucible). 

Conversion and Proselytism 

59. Let us now turn to consider the implications of 
conversion and Proselytism. We have had the 
advantage of perusing an article on this subject 
by Marcus Ward in The Christian Home No. 30, 
1954, page 7. He says, “Conversion and 
proselytism are not identical. Broadly speaking, to 
proselytize means to induce an individual or a 
group, by various motives, high and low, to 
change the outward allegiance, the religious 
label.” He does not deny that in the past and the 
present there are Christians who are guilty of 
doing this and that it also happens as between 
different Christian groups. He recalls Jesus’ own 
condemnation of such proselytism. 

60. We have described how in the mass 
movement carried on in Surguja district money 
flowed and how one “evangelist” called the “rival 
evangelist” a bhedia (wolf). Thousands were 
“converted” for the promotion of the world 
community of the Universal Church. 

61. The word conversion may be viewed in 
different aspects. Spiritually, conversion marks 
the first step, and it is followed by Purification, 
Illumination and Union. Intellectually, it means 
assent by conviction:-ethically, the spontaneous 
feeling of reverence for a true saint. All this is as 
far apart from the “Missionary conversions” as 
anything can be. As stated by Everett Cattell, 
most men come with a need, social, physical 
economic or the like, and an awakened faith that 
Christ could meet that need. (P. 17. Ways of 
Evangelism). The Missionary, as the 
representative of Christ, meets such material 
needs and thereby obtains influence on the 
person helped. It is this influence, which brings 
about the change of religion. Is this conversion or 
proselytism? The large number of reversions, 



which were admitted before us and the statement 
in the Children of Hari, prove that the motive is 
not religious, but social and economic (See page 
226). That the stress is laid on adding to the 
numbers of those changing their labels is clear 
from Dr. Pickett’s statement, “Many of the later 
converts are proving as successful in winning 
others to Christ as the first converts were”: He is, 
however, sorry to note that, “There are Christians 
who complain that instead of making new 
converts the Mission should spend its fund for the 
benefit of the older Christians and their 
families” (page 55, Ways of Evangelism). The 
schools and medical institutions facilitate this 
accomplishment of the change of allegiance. 

Conversion and Politics 

62. What is the underlying idea of so-called 
conversions? Marcus Ward himself refers to the 
result of the study of Dr. A. D. Nock and quotes 
his opinion, “All these things we see as 
movements governed and directed by political 
and other considerations, conditioned by the 
intellectual atmosphere of the times” (Christian 
Home No. 30, 1954, page 8). 

63. In the light of this statement and the actual 
experience of all the colonial countries we are 
asked to believe in the sincerity of the claim 
“without being false to its origin, the Christian 

Church cannot help being aggressive.it 

holds its King’s Commission to make Disciples of 

all Nations.and proclaim the good news with 

a view to conversion.of the fact that God in 

Christ has entered history to save, and that power 
to remake life is available to all (page 9, ibid). 

How this power to remake was exercised in Anno 
Domini was well described by Jefferson already 
referred to above. If the King’s Commission was 
there from the beginning why (apart from the 
views of Melancthon and Dr. Hamilton) should 
“the three bursts of Christian activities after the 
Apostolic Epoch have been contemporaneous 
with periods of military, exploring and commercial 
activities” (Rethinking Missions, page 10), and 
now contemporaneous with the cold war which as 






described by a well-known leader is synonymous 
with non-violent militarism? 

64. It is because a creed can also be used as a 
tool that it comes into play in the exciting periods 
of history. It is used for the disruption of the 
society, which is assailed. This is effected by 
what is called training in “the leadership of the 
Church” which involves training in Western 
Theology, ideas and methods of evangelism on 
modern commercial lines. In short, it is intended 
to change the heritage and the history of the 
proselytes, as stated by Rev. Das and Rev. 
Williams. Shri Donald Groom’s opinion also is 
similar. This is amply proved when one reads a 
book called The Heritage of an Indian Christian. 

Religion and Society 

65. The close relation of religion to the social 
heritage of the person professing it is well 
described by Dr. A. C. Bouquet in these words: 

“to pass from one religious group to another has 
come to mean to sever one’s connection with the 
entire adjustment to life and the entire way of 
living into which one has been born and into 
which, therefore, one fits by tradition. Religion in 
such circumstances is much more than a belief or 
theory super-imposed upon a neutral system of 
social life. It is actually a social system and to 
abandon it is to ostracise oneself from all other 
members of one’s cultural group.” (P.168 
Comparative Religion by Dr. Bouquet Pelican 
Books). 

66. It is on account of this foreign influence 
brought to bear upon the Christian converts that 
Christianity is still regarded as foreign in India. 

67. The various ways, which we have already 
indicated are nothing short of abuse of “the 
religious liberty” accorded by the Constitution of 
India. 


68. The mass conversions effected in the Surguja 
district could hardly be justified as exercise of 



religious liberty. Such mass conversions were 
reprobated by Gandhiji, and also disapproved by 
Dr. E. Stanley Jones, as they involved little or no 
spiritual or moral change. (Page 36, Christianity in 
the Indian Crucible). Dr. Nicol MacNicol regarded 
the mass movements as a hindrance to the self- 
realization of the Indian Church (page 29, The 
Spontaneous Expansion of the Church). 

Admonitions by National Leaders 

69. On this point we may turn to the opinion of 
some of the national leaders. Sardar Patel said, 
“let them (the Missionaries) on serving the 
suffering with their hospitals and dispensaries, 
educate the poor and give selfless service to the 
people. They can even carry on their propaganda 
in a peaceful manner. But let them not use mass 

conversions for political ends.we want them 

to identify themselves with the people and make 
India their home.” (quoted at page 138, The 
Whole World is My Neighbour, by E. De Meulder, 
S.J.). 

70. Rajkumari Amrit Kaur sent a message on 
October 3, 1948, to the Christian Congress in 
Columbus, Ohio, as follows : “I understand that 
your Conference plans a large advance in the 
better equipment of Mission schools, colleges, 
hospitals and agricultural and industrial 
institutions in the East. I am aware of the valuable 
contributions made by all such institutions in the 
past. The old outlook, however, of Christian 
Missionaries being sent East to convert people to 
Christianity is outmoded and no longer welcome 
to India, but I believe that all those who will come 
to India and to help to serve her needs as friends 
will always be welcome.” (Page 14, The Christian 
Task in Independent India-Appaswamy). We may 
as well refer to the opinion expressed by 
President Soekarno, in his inaugural address at 
the Bandung Conference, 1955. “It is true”, he 
said, “each religion has its own history, its own 
individuality, its own raison d’etre, its special pride 
in its own beliefs, its own mission, its special 
truths which it desires to propagate but unless 
you realize that all great religions are one in their 




message of tolerance and in their insistence on 
the observance of the principle of “live and let 
live” unless the followers of each religion are 
prepared to give the same consideration to the 

rights of others everywhere.religion is 

debased.” (Page 218, India Quarterly, July- 
September, 1955.) 

71. The manner in which the Missionary 
movement goes on in certain places is clearly 
intended to serve some political purpose in the 
cold-war. If an activity is found to be political, but 
carried on under the cloak of religion, the 
continuance of such activity is fraught with danger 
to the security of the State. Moreover, to exploit 
the need and distress of people for adding to the 
numbers of what is styled world community for the 
purpose of promoting the cause of world peace 
and justice as conceived by a foreign nation is 
interference in the internal affairs of India, and it is 
repugnant to the principles of “Pancha 

Shila” (page 214, India Quarterly, July- 
September, 1955). 

72. We recommend that those Missionaries 
whose primary object is proselytization should be 
asked to withdraw. The large influx of foreign 
Missionaries is undesirable and should be 
checked. There has been of late so deep a 
suspicion in many countries, as has already been 
mentioned above, that even the Missionaries 
think that they will have to, withdraw. In the 
Foreword of the “Spontaneous Expansion of the 
Church”, it is anticipated that the Missionaries 
may be driven out of many countries. We are 
informed that the Missionaries are themselves 
willing to withdraw and transfer their property. 

This is also recommended at page 29 in The 
Missionary Obligation of the Church, 1952, viz., 
that properties now registered in the name of 
foreign Mission bodies should be transferred to 
National Churches or holding bodies or to an 
International Holding Body. 

73. The question of foreign money coming to 
India will also have to be considered. The mere 
withdrawal of the foreign personnel and the 




transfer of properties without cutting off the 
supplies of money received from abroad will 
always continue to keep the Indian churches 
under foreign control and direction. The Lutheran 
Church in India is represented to be thoroughly 
Indianised. But how it is sought to be kept under 
control by, the foreign churches is clear from the 
statement of Rev. Lakra himself, viz., “after the 
two world wars several of the large Missions 
claimed to have given autonomy to the churches 
established on the field. But in practice the Home 
Board continues to control the policy and purse of 
these autonomous Churches. The foreign 
Missionary has still a large voice in the affairs of 
the autonomous Churches. The result is that 
indigenous Christians are still dependent on the 
parent bodies”. (Page 60, Ways of Evangelism, 
1953). It is this dependence on foreign support 
which is responsible for perpetuating the 
denominations which, as Dr. Moses observes, 
sowed the seeds of division in India. Rev. E. L. 
Anant Rao thinks that if the foreign financial 
support is withdrawn altogether a large number of 
Christians who are now divided will become one 
(page 546, National Christian Council Review, 
December 1954). Rev. R. M. Benett frankly 
declares that as long as evangelism draws 
heavily on foreign resources the Church in India 
must expect to bear the stigma of “a foreign 
Church” (page 382, National Christian Council 
Review, October 1955). 

74. We find that the Enquiry into the activities of 
foreign Missionaries is represented in some 
quarters as an attack on the Christian 
community. We unhesitatingly repudiate the 
charge. The Christian Indians are as rightful 
citizens of India as Hindus or any other 
community. We share with some of the thoughtful 
Christians themselves the view that it is highly 
undesirable for an important community like the 
Christians to be in some form or other under 
foreign domination. 

75. Dr. Devanandan points out in “Communism 
and Social Revolution in India”, that “the 
denominational loyalties of the Indian Christians 



are mixed up with vested interests and in a great 
measure due to non-theological factors as well. 
He, therefore, recommends to the Christians in 
India to think more seriously on the unity of the 
Church and work to realise it under the leading of 
the Holy Spirit (page 88). 

76. Accordingly the best course for the Indian 
Churches to follow would he to establish a United 
Independent Christian Church in India without 
being dependent on foreign support. We 
recommend accordingly. 

77. In India, there is room for all religions. 
Rajkumari Amrit Kaur in a letter to Gandhiji in 
1937 said, “Are we not all Hindus inasmuch as we 
are the children of Hind? Is there not room for 
Jesus in Hinduism? There must be. I cannot 
believe that any who seek to worship God in spirit 
and in truth are outside this pale of any of these 
great religions which draw their inspirations from 
Him who is the fountain head of all truth”. (Page 
125, Christian Missions Navajivan Press). She 
was perfectly right. Sir Alfred Lyall defined a 
Hindu as denoting three things together-religion, 
parentage and country (Page 288, Second Series 
Asiatic Studies). Christianity practised according 
to the true teaching of Jesus, can never be 
foreign in India only because Jesus happened to 
he born in Palestine. By parentage the Christians 
are of this soil and the Indian heritage is their 
heritage. As to the country India is as much their 
country as of the Hindus. Rev. Mascarenhas 
defines a Hindu as “the only child of Mother-lndia, 
who never disowns his parent” (Page 44, 
Quintessence of Hinduism). 

78. Hospitals and dispensaries have been the 
favourite medium of approach to the masses for 
conversion. This is sought to be justified on the 
ground that Jesus commanded his disciples to 
preach and heal. Such scriptural expressions 
cannot bear literal interpretation. As observed by 
Sir Charles Eliot, “They are mostly the result of an 
attempt to describe a mind and will of more than 
human strength but the superman thus idealised 
rarely works miracles of healing. He saves 



mankind by teaching the way of salvation., not by 
alleviating a few chance cases of physical 
distress” (Page 329, Hinduism and Buddhism, 
Volume I: Reprinted 1954, Routledge). 

79. The fact is that it is a kind of inducement held 
out to make the patients Christians. Dr. 

Thirumallai Pillay (Sagar No. 1) said that there 
was nothing wrong in a Christian Doctor, 
presenting Christ to his patient in a Christian 
hospital. Rev. E. Raman (Sagar, No. 2) 
supporting him said that a doctor should talk on 
religion as the patient is in a receptive mood. Dr. 
Jeevanmall and others took a somewhat different 
view. Thus, there is a difference of opinion on the 
point among the Christians themselves as to the 
propriety of using medical relief as an inducement 
to change religion. 

80. In the eye of the law the relation between a 
doctor and patient, lawyer and client, teacher and 
pupil is a fiduciary one, and any influence brought 
to bear by the doctor, lawyer or teacher on 
patient, client or pupil would be presumed to be 
undue influence. It is, therefore, obviously 
objectionable. 

81. This point was considered by the Laymen’s 
Foreign Missions Enquiry Commission presided 
over by Dr Hocking. They considered the problem 
in this way : “Shall these philanthropic activities 
be regarded solely as means to the end of 
conversion? It was natural that educational and 
medical work should at first have been regarded 
as direct auxiliaries to the evangelical work of the 
Mission; this was the way they grew up. 
Nevertheless when medical aid or education are 
thus consciously subordinated to explicit 
evangelism there are unfortunate effects in 
various directions including the quality of 
education or the medical aid. The service ceases 
to be disinterested. It has an ‘ulterior object’; the 
philanthropic object is likely to be pursued in a 
manner savouring of a commercial interest in the 
promotion of one’s own type of piety. It looks like 
adulteration of the quality of mercy. It was 
recognised that the receptive attitude of the 



patient, the leisure of illness, the fixed association 
in their mind between healing and the miraculous, 
made the hospital, the clinic, the dispensary so 
many opportunities to press for 
conversion” (Pages 67, 68, 70, Rethinking 
Missions). In the regional report of the 
Commission of Appraisal of the Laymen’s Foreign 
Missions Enquiry, Volume I (India-Burma), among 
the principles which were offered by the 
Committee as the basis of religious activities in 
Mission Hospitals are to be found the following: 

(1) The use of medical or other 
professional service as a direct 
means of making converts is 
improper; 

(2) Evangelistic services in wards 
and dispensaries from which 
patients cannot escape are a subtle 
form of coercion and must therefore 
be given up. (Page 180 ibid). 

82. Gandhiji also reprehended the use of 
hospitals for proselytization, by stigmatising it as 
commercialisation of medical aid (Page 227, 
Christian Missions, Navajivan Press). As this is 
not a' matter of pure Ethics and as the duty of 
Government is to protect the weaker sections of 
society, we recommend that the use of medical or 
other professional services as a direct means of 
making converts should he prohibited by law. 

Schools 

83. As regards schools, it is clear that the Roman 
Catholics use the primary schools in the villages 
for conversion. Their strategy is to catch the 
second generation. There have been many 
complaints before us about the various methods 
they follow for influencing the tender mind of the 
pupils in the primary schools. The Lutheran 
Mission avowedly uses schools for securing 
converts from among the youngsters. In 
Gharbandhu, March 1953, p. 8, there is a clear 
statement 



”"Bg o_eZ j {I H$m CO{e 'h h; oH$ 
nHy$b Urn am _grh H$m aMmaoH 
$'m Omd{." 

84. We have already given instances of the kind 
of subtle methods followed in the schools to 
induce, or to bring pressure on the boys to attend 
the Bible classes. In a secular State which 
conducts its own schools or supports private 
schools by its grants, students that are turned out 
would be expected to be thinkers, not blind 
believers in dogmas. 

85. In the schools the emphasis must be laid on 
the development of moral ideas. Text books on 
moral lessons should contain the lives of all great 
founders of religions, saints and philanthropists to 
stimulate the desire for leading a pure life and to 
inducing in them the sense of social service. 

86. There is a clear provision in our Constitution 
to the effect that no pupil should be asked to 
attend any religious class without the express 
permission of his parent or guardian. In the 
course of our enquiry we found that this provision 
of the Constitution was not strictly enforced, in the 
absence of special forms provided for the 
purpose. We recommend that the department of 
Education should see that proper forms are 
prescribed and made available to every school. 

87. To check abuses prevalent regarding 
conversion from one religion to another it appears 
desirable to adopt the rule in force in Greece. It is 
as follows:- 

“Any attempt by force, or threats of illicit means, 
or grants of promises of financial or other aid or 
by fraudulent means or promises, or by moral and 
material assistance, or by taking advantage of 
any person’s inexperience or confidence, or by 
exploiting any person’s necessity or spiritual 
(mental) weakness or thoughtlessness, or, in 
general, any attempt or effort (whether successful 
or not), directly or indirectly to penetrate into the 




religious conscience of persons (whether of age 
or under age) of another faith, for the purpose of 
consciously altering their religious conscience or 
faith, so as to agree with the ideas or convictions 
of the proselytising party” should be absolutely 
prohibited, (page 112, Religious Liberty by Bates.) 

88. We find that the Roman Catholic Church 
engages itself in the recruitment of labour and 
uses it as a means of proselytization. Religions 
bodies should, we recommend, be prohibited from 
engaging in such occupations. 

89. Orphanages are a fertile field for 
proselytization of minors. We have already shown 
the political implications of proselytization. It is 
the primary duty of the Government to conduct 
orphanages as the State is the legal guardian of 
all minors who have no parents or natural 
guardians. They may be directly run by the 
Government departmentally as a part of its social 
welfare work or the work may be entrusted to 
private bodies with grants-in-aid given to them, 
but it should always be subject to the rule that 
there should be no religious propaganda of a 
particular type. 

90. Our main duty being to make 
recommendations to Government, we have 
normally to confine ourselves to such suggestions 
as can be, acted upon by the Government within 
the framework of the Constitution. But in the 
special circumstances of this problem in India we 
have thought it advisable to make a few 
suggestions for consideration of authoritative 
Mission organisations operating in Madhya 
Pradesh. Indian Christians are loud in their 
profession of loyalty to Independent India. 
Especially, so are the Roman Catholics. 

Suspicion, however, exists. This is mainly 
because of the Indian Christian subservience to 
foreign influence and because of the Western 
interest in saving India, from Communism. The 
Roman Catholics support the Congress 
Government mainly because they are anti¬ 
communist. There seems to he an unholy 
alliance between Roman Catholics and American 



money to save India from Communism. The 
West must realise that this is none of their 
business and that Independent India needs no 
foreign help in solving its economic and social 
problems. For Christian Missions to interest 
themselves in such economic and social 
problems and help in finding solutions for them 
would be regarded as extra-religious activity and 
as highly undesirable. The Abundant Life 
Movement near Bilaspur and the Jeevantara 
Movement near Damoh are naturally suspected, 
because the big money involved comes from 
outside and is expended without the co-operation 
and advice of non-Christian leaders and purports 
to build up the Christian community in India. 
Missionary and Indian Christian indifference and 
even opposition to national efforts and the 
removal of social and economic injustices like the 
Harjian Sevak Sangh activities, the Kasturba 
Trust Women Services and Social Welfare 
Schemes sponsored by Government, reveal an 
attitude of mind not primarily interested in human 
well-being but in people as prospective converts 
to various denominations. In the present secular 
State of India, the best safeguard any minority 
could have, is the goodwill of the majority 
community and the right attitude of the minority is 
one of trust and confidence in the fair sense of 
the majority. Indian Christians are not likely to 
suffer in the least in this manner. There has been 
no discrimination against Christians as a 
community anywhere in Madhya Pradesh. In fact, 
Christians have got more than their numerical 
share in offices under the State. Cries of 
Christisthan or Massihisthan are foolish and 
dangerous. Young, independent India, still 
smarting under memories of the partition of India 
on grounds of religion is very sensitive to anything 
dangerous to the solidarity and security of the 
country. There are those who foolishly use, or 
encourage the use of expressions that smack of 
politics, or anything divisive. Even terms like 
“Kingdom of God” must be explained in their true 
spiritual sense in order to obviate the hurting of 
any susceptibility. How much more should 
Christians dissociate themselves from demands 
for a Jharkhand State or an Adivasisthan? An 



Indian today, high caste or Adivasi, Hindu or 
Christian, whose heart does not grow with love 
and devotion to his Motherland, which is making 
such tremendous advances, is untrue to his 
genius and disloyal to his nation. It is not 
sufficiently realised that Western Christianity is 
the result of a marriage between Hebriasm, the 
Semetic heritage, and Greco-Roman culture. A 
real welding of Indian spirituality and Hebrew 
ethics might result in a Christianity that might 
enrich the whole world. An Indian Christianity, 
that is really Indian and truly Christian, might give 
a lead to World Christianity. An Indian 
Christianity that emphasises its essentials, and 
holds lightly to its trappings, mainly of Western 
devising, will find a welcome from India that, is 
awakening from its lethargy under centuries of 
foreign domination. Unfortunately, Indian 
Christianity under the leading grip of the West is 
not sufficiently aware of the hands stretched out 
to welcome it. If Christianity in India does not 
accept the co-operation of the best, it will get the 
opposition of the worst and that will not be very 
much to its liking. Christian Missions, and 
Christianity in general have been a great 
stimulant to India, awaking the people to their 
duties, making them realise the grossness of their 
neglect as in the case of Harijans. They have 
done a great service along these lines and they 
ought to rejoice that their labours have borne 
fruits in a purified Hinduism and an awakened 
Indian Society. If Missionaries from the West with 
their specialised training and aptitudes are willing 
to serve India, without the ulterior motive of 
adding to the numerical strength of the 
denominations they belong to, they will be truly 
representative of their Master and be doing their 
best to win for Him the heart of India. We have 
come across a few such who find in disinterested 
service to India their true reward, who have been 
taken into the hearts of the people. We wish 
Christianity in India to become truly Indian and 
truly Christian and the religions of India to come 
together in genuine co-operation giving a lead to 
the nations in peaceful co-existence, l/l/e 
recommend to Government to issue an appeal to 
authoritative and representative Christian 
Missionary organisations and to Christians in 



general to come together and to form an 
authoritative organisation which should lay down 
and inform Government in clear terms the policy 
which the Missions and Christians in general will 
follow in respect of propagating their religion, the 
methods to be followed in conversions, the type 
of propaganda which will be permitted and the 
attempts which will be made to confine their 
evangelistic activities within the limits of public 
order, morality and health. Such a clear 
enunciation of policy will not only help the various 
Missions to function freely in religious matters, but 
will also secure the co-operation of the majority 
community and the Government and will thus 
dispel fears and apprehensions entertained by 
non-Christian religious or communal bodies. 

91. We have already mentioned that in certain 
quarters a feeling is entertained that Article 25 of 
the Constitution of India gives a right to any 
person, including foreigners temporarily residing 
in India, to propagate his religion and that this 
right includes the right to secure converts 
Whether the right to propagate does or does not 
include a right to concert has been a matter of 
great controversy. We consider it desirable that 
the matter should not be left vague or indefinite 
and recommend that an amendment of the 
Constitution may be sought, firstly, to clarify that 
the right of propagation has been given only to 
the citizens of India, and secondly, that it does not 
include conversion brought about by force, fraud, 
or illicit means. 

92. There appears to be a perpetual controversy 
as to whether undesirable methods are used for 
bringing about conversions to Christianity. In our 
enquiry we have found that such methods are 
used on a large scale and that instances of 
conversions due to a genuine conviction are 
extremely rare. Whatever may have happened in 
the past we consider it undesirable that such a 
controversy should be allowed to rage in the 
State for all time to come. We, therefore, 
recommend suitable control on conversions 
brought about through illegal means. If necessary 
legislative measures should be enacted. In our 



opinion, this legislation should secure the 
compulsory registration of all religious bodies 
engaged in conversions and providing social 
services to persons of other than their own 
religious persuasion. The property of such bodies 
should be constituted into public trusts and they 
should be required to maintain accounts in a 
prescribed manner to be audited through 
Chartered Accountants appointed by Government 
and should be published for general information. 
The legislation should also secure submission of 
monthly or quarterly lists, giving names and 
addresses of persons of another faith, seeking 
information about Christianity and also lists giving 
names and addresses of persons baptised. 

93. To implement the provisions of this legislation 
we recommend that Advisory Boards at State 
level, Regional level and District level be 
constituted of non-officials... Minority 
communities like Tribals and Harijans should be 
in a majority on these Boards. The function of 
these Boards will be to advise Government on 
such matters as the voluntariness or otherwise of 
individual conversions in a locality, the 
propaganda methods used, to scrutinise 
pamphlets and propaganda literature in circulation 
in various area, to recommend the recognition 
and grants-in-aid to educational and other 
institutions run by religious bodies, and in general 
to secure fulfilment of the conditions on which 
recognition or grants may he accorded. 

94. We recommend that no baptisms should be 
allowed unless approved by the State Board on 
recommendations of the district and regional 
boards, that no schools should be allowed to be 
opened unless approved by the State Board as 
above and that no hospitals should be permitted 
to be run without the State Board’s approval as 
above. 

95. To prevent misuse of hospitals including 
clinics and sanatoria for purposes of 
proselytization, the rules relating to the 
registration of doctors, nurses and other auxiliary 
personnel should be suitably amended to provide 



a condition against evangelistic activities during 
professional services. 

Government should also take action to prevent 
persons other than registered medical 
practitioners to practise medicine in rural areas, 
especially in Scheduled Areas. 

96. An effective control on literature meant for 
religious propaganda and in circulation in the 
State is obviously desirable. We recommend that 
circulation of such literature without the approval 
of Government should be totally prohibited. If 
necessary, a law should be enacted. The State 
Government should accord approval on the 
recommendations of the State Advisory Board as 
suggested by us above. 

97. We have noticed that although recognition 
has been granted and grants-in-aid given to 
educational-and other institutions run by religious 
organisations there is practically no supervision 
by the staff to see whether conditions of 
recognition are being fulfilled and whether the 
grants sanctioned have been utilised in the 
prescribed manner. We recommend that there 
should be compulsory quarterly inspections of 
these institutions by officers of Government. 

98. The earlier the Government realises its sole 
responsibility to provide social services like 
education, health, medicine and other amenities 
to people living in the Scheduled Areas, the better 
it would be to prevent exploitation of or 
proselytization of illiterate aboriginals. We 
recommend that Government should lay down a 
policy that the responsibility to provide social 
services in these areas will be solely of the State 
Government and adequate services should be 
provided as early as possible. Non-official 
organisations should be permitted to run or 
maintain social service institutions only for the 
members of their own religious faith. 

99. So far as our information goes no single 
department of Government is in administrative 



charge of the various activities of the religious 
organisations in this State. Considering the very 
large number of such organisations, the wide area 
covered by their activities and the very large 
percentage of Tribals and Harijans; and other 
backward classes residing in this State we 
recommend the creation of a separate 
department of cultural and religions affairs at 
State level whose functions should be- 

(a) To co-ordinate the activities of 
the various departments like Police, 
department in charge of Passport, 

Visas, etc., Education, Medical, 
etc., etc. 

(b) To control the advent of 
foreigners in Tribal areas. 

(c) To control grants-in-aid by 
Central and State Governments to 
institutions maintained by religious 
bodies. 

(d) To control foreign assistance to 
such bodies. 

(e) To determine the extent to 
which non-official agencies should 
be allowed to provide social 
services like health, education, etc., 
independently of Government to 
Tribal areas. 

(f) To supervise the proper use of 
grants-in-aid to institutions. 

(g) To promote goodwill amongst 
various religious bodies or groups 
and to see that the conversions are 
voluntary. 

We feel that this department should be in charge 
of a Minister of the Scheduled Castes, Tribe and 
the Backward classes and that it should have 
especially trained personnel and its machinery 
should extend to the village level. 



100. We make the following other 
recommendations:- 

(1) No non-official agency should be permitted to 
secure foreign assistance except through State 
channels. Employment of Technical or 
administrative foreign personnel should be 
created as part of foreign assistance. 

(2) No foreigner should be allowed to function in a 
Scheduled, or specified area either independently 
or as a member of a religious institution unless he 
has given a declaration in writing that he will .not 
take part in politics. 

(3) The State should prescribe forms on which 
institutions should obtain consent of parents and 
guardians for implementation of the Conscience 
Clause. 

(4) Programmes of social and economic uplift by 
non-official or religious bodies should he 
approved by the state on recommendations of the 
Board. 


CHAPTER III. - SUMMARY OF 
RECOMMENDATIONS 

The following is a summary of the 
recommendations which we have made :- 

(1) Those Missionaries whose primary object is 
proselytization should be asked to withdraw. The, 
large influx of foreign Missionaries is undesirable 
and should be checked. (Paragraph 72, Chapter 
II, Part IV, Volume I). 

(2) The best course for the Indian Churches to 
follow is to establish a United Independent 
Christian Church in India without being dependent 
on foreign support. (Paragraph 76 ibid). 


(3) The use of medical or other professional 
services as a direct means of making conversions 



should be prohibited by law. (Paragraph 82 ibid). 


(4) To implement the provision in the Constitution 
of India prohibiting the imparting of religious 
education to children without the explicit consent 
of parents and guardians, the Department of 
Education should see that proper forms are 
prescribed and made available to all schools. 
(Paragraph 86 ibid). 

(5) Any attempt by force or fraud, or threats of 
illicit means or grants of financial or other aid, or 
by fraudulent means or promises, or by moral and 
material assistance, or by taking advantage of 
any person’s inexperience or confidence, or by 
exploiting any person’s necessity, spiritual 
(mental) weakness or thoughtlessness, or, in 
general, any attempt or effort (whether successful 
or not), directly or indirectly to penetrate into the 
religious conscience of persons (whether of age 
or underage) of another faith, for the purpose of 
consciously altering their religious conscience or 
faith, so as to agree with the ideas or convictions 
of the proselytizing party should be absolutely 
prohibited. (Paragraph 87 ibid.). 

(6) Religious institutions should not be permitted 
to engage in occupations like recruitment of 
labour for tea gardens. (Paragraph 88 ibid.). 

(7) It is the primary duty of Government to 
conduct orphanages, as the State is the legal 
guardian of all minors who have no parents or 
natural guardians. (Paragraph 89 ibid). 

(8) Government should issue an appeal to 
authoritative and representative Christian 
Missionary Organisations and to Christians in 
general to come together and to form an 
authoritative organization which should lay down 
and inform Government in clear terms the policy 
which the Missions and Christians in general will 
follow in respect of propagating their religion, the 
methods to he followed in conversions, the type 
of propaganda which will be promoted and the 
attempts which will be made to confine their 



evangelistic activities within the limits of public 
order, morality and health. (Paragraph 90 ibid). 


(9) An amendment of the Constitution of India 
may be sought, firstly to clarify that the right of 
propagation ha been given only to the citizens of 
India and secondly that it does not include 
conversion brought about by force, fraud or other 
illicit means. (Paragraph 91 ibid). 

(10) Suitable control on conversions brought 
about through illegal means should be imposed. 

If necessary Legislative measures should be 
enacted. (Paragraph 92 ibid.). 

(11) Advisory Boards at State level, regional level 
and district level should be constituted of non¬ 
officials, minority communities like Tribals and 
Harijans being in a majority on these boards. 
(Paragraph 93 ibid). 

(12) Rules relating to the registration of Doctors, 
Nurses and other personnel employed in 
hospitals should be suitably amended to provide 
a condition against evangelistic activities during 
professional services. (Paragraph 95 ibid). 

(13) Circulation of literature meant for religious 
propaganda approval of the State Government 
should be prohibited. (Paragraph 96 ibid). 

(14) Institutions in receipt of grants-in-aid or 
recognition from Government should be 
compulsorily inspected every quarter by officers 
of Government. (Paragraph 97 ibid). 

(15) Government should lay down a policy that 
the responsibility of providing social services like 
education, health, medicine, etc., to members of 
scheduled tribes, castes and other backward 
classes will be solely of the State Government, 
and adequate services should be provided as 
early as possible, non-official organizations being 
permitted to run institutions only for members of 
their own religious faith. (Paragraph 98 ibid). 



(16) A separate department of Cultural and 
Religious affairs should be constituted at the 
State level to deal with these matters which 
should be in charge of a Minister belonging to a 
scheduled caste, tribe or other backward classes 
and should, have specially trained personnel at 
the various levels. (Paragraph 99 ibid). 

(17) No non-official agency should he permitted to 
secure foreign assistance except through 
Government channels. (Paragraph 100 ibid). 

(18) No foreigner should be allowed to function in 
a scheduled or a specified area either 
independently or as a member of a religious 
institution unless he has given a declaration in 
writing that he will not take part in politics. 
(Paragraph 100 ibid). 

(19) Programmes of social and economic uplift by 
non-official or religious bodies should receive 
prior approval of the State (Paragraph 100 ibid). 

(M. B. NIYOGI) 
Chairman 


(B. P. PATHAK) 

Member-Secretary. 

(GHANSHYAM SINGH GUPTA) 

Member. 

(S. K. GEORGE) 
Member. 

(RATANLAL MALVIYA) 
Member. 

(BHANU PRATAP SINGH) 
Member 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 





Back to Home 



APPENDICES 


APPENDIX I 

GOVERNMENT OF MADHYA PRADESH 

POLITICAL AND MILITARY DEPARTMENT 


RESOLUTION 1 

Nagpur, the 14th April 1954. 

No. 318-716-V-CON. -Whereas representations have 
been made to Government from time to time that 
Christian Missionaries, either forcibly or through fraud 
and temptations of monetary and other gain, convert 
illiterate aboriginals and other backward people 
thereby offending the feelings of non-Christians; 

And whereas it has further been represented that 
Missions are utilised directly or indirectly for purposes 
of political or extra-religious objectives; 

And whereas the Christian Missionaries have 
repudiated these allegations and have asserted on the 
other hand that their activities are confined solely to 
religious propaganda and towards social, medical and 
educational work; 

And whereas the Missionaries have further alleged that 
they are being harassed by non-Christian people and 
local officials; 

And as agitation is growing on either side; 

The State Government consider it desirable in the 
public interest to have a thorough inquiry made into the 
whole question through an impartial Committee. 

2. Government are accordingly pleased to constitute a 
Committee consisting of the following:- 



Chairman. 


(1) Dr. Bhawani Shankar Niyogi, M.A., LL. 

M., LL.D., ex-Chairman, Public Service 
Commission, Madhya Pradesh, and 
Retired Chief Justice, High Court of 
Judicature at Nagpur. 

Members. 

(2) Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta, B.Sc., 

LL.B., ex-Speaker, Madhya Pradesh 
Legislative Assembly, Durg. 

(3) Shri Ratanlal Malviya, B.A., LL.B., M. 

P., Manendragarh. 

(4) Shri Bhanupratapsingh Giri Raj Singh 
Deo, M. P., of Komakhan, Tahsil 
Mahasamund, District Raipur. 

(5) Shri S. K. George, M.A., B.D., 

Professor, Commerce College, Wardha. 

(6) Shri B. P. Pathak, Secretary to 
Government, Madhya Pradesh, Public 
Health Department. 

Shri B. P. Pathak will act as Secretary to the 
Committee. 

3. The Committee shall enquire into the questions 
mentioned in the preamble and report to Government 
what the facts are. On a thorough review of the 
question from historical and other points of view, the 
Committee may also make recommendations to 
Government as to the action that Government should 
take to deal with the situation as disclosed by the 
inquiry. 

4. The Committee is authorised to frame its own 
procedure for conducting the enquiry and is requested 
to submit its report to Government with all possible 
expedition. 



By order of the Governor, Madhya Pradesh, 
B. N. KUNTE, Addl. Secy. 


APPENDIX II 

DIRECTORATE OF INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY 
GOVERNMENT OF MADHYA PRADESH 


PRESS NOTE 

Impartial enquiry into question of Missionary 
Activities-State Government Appoint Committee 

Nagpur, the 16th April 1954. 

Representations have been made to Government from 
time to time that Christian Missionaries either forcibly 
or through fraud and temptations of monetary and 
other gain convert illiterate aboriginals and other 
backward people thereby offending the feelings of non- 
Christians. It has further been represented that 
Missions are utilised directly or indirectly for purposes 
of political or extra-religious objectives. The Christian 
Missionaries have repudiated these allegations and 
have asserted on the other hand that their activities are 
confined solely to religious propaganda and towards 
social, medical and educational work. The 
Missionaries have further alleged that they are being 
harassed by non-Christian people and local officials, 

As agitation has been growing on either side, the State 
Government consider it desirable in the public interest 
to have a thorough inquiry made into the whole 
question through an impartial Committee. 

Government have accordingly constituted a committee 
consisting of the following to enquire into the question 
and to report to Government what the facts are:- 

(1) Dr. Bhawani Shankar Niyogi, M.A., LL. 

M., LL.D., ex-Chairman, Public Service 
Commission, Madhya Pradesh and 
Retired Chief Justice, High Court of 




Judicature at Uagpux-Chairman. 


(2) Shri Ghanshyam Singh Gupta, B.Sc., 

LL.B., ex-Speaker, Madhya Pradesh 
Legislative Assembly, Durg-Member. 

(3) Shri Seth Govind Das, M.P., Jabalpur- 
Member. 

(4) Shri Kirtimant Rao, B.A., M.L.A., 

Ahiri, tahsil Sironcha, district Chanda- 
Member. 

(5) Shri S. K. George, M.A., B.D., 

Professor, Commerce College, Wardha- 
Member. 

(6) Shri B. P. Pathak, Secretary to 
Government, Madhya Pradesh, Public 
Health Department -Member. 

Shri B. P. Pathak, will act as Secretary to the 
Committee. 

On a thorough review of the question from historical 
and other points of view, the Committee may also 
make recommendations to Government as to the 
action that Government should take to deal with the 
situation as disclosed by the inquiry. 

The Committee has been authorised to frame its own 
procedure for conducting the enquiry and requested to 
submit its report to Government with all possible 
expedition. 


DIRECTORATE OF INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY 
GOVERNMENT OF MADHYA PRADESH 

PRESS NOTE 


Enquiry into Missionaries’ Activities-Committee 
Invites Information 




Nagpur, the 30th April 1954. 


Public are aware that by a Madhya Pradesh 
Government Resolution No. 318-716-V-CON, dated 
the 14th April 1954, published in the “Madhya Pradesh 
Gazette”, dated the 16th April-1954, a Committee has 
been appointed to enquire into the question of the 
activities of Christian Missionaries and their 
grievances. 

The first meeting of the Committee was held on the 
30th April 1954 in the Secretariat building. 

Before the Committee decide on the line of action that 
they will take in the discharge of duties entrusted to 
them, it is considered that a sort of a preliminary survey 
of the problem may be made and with this end in view 
request the general public, both Christians and non- 
Christians, individuals and institutions and 
organizations to send to the Committee such 
information including any literature that they may 
have. This will enable the Committee to determine the 
exact points involved, which may subsequently form 
the basis of a definite programme for enquiry. 

The Committee wish to visit almost immediately certain 
areas which may not he easily accessible afterwards, 
in order to have a general idea of the problem before 
them. The Committee will be grateful for suggestions 
from the public regarding the areas which the 
Committee should in the first instance visit. 

All communications are requested to be addressed by 
name to Shri B. P. Pathak, Secretary to the 
Committee, Nagpur. 


DIRECTORATE OF INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY 
GOVERNMENT OF MADHYA PRADESH 

PRESS NOTE 


Missionary Activities Enquiry Committee-Selection 




of members explained. 


Nagpur, the 3rd May 1954. 

The attention of Government has been drawn to the 
criticism that his been expressed in certain quarters 
against the composition of the Committee recently 
appointed to investigate the Missionary activities in the 
State. Especially, the representative character of Shri 
S. K. George has been questioned. 

Government wish to reiterate-what they have already 
explained in their communique announcing the 
appointment of the Committee-that the purpose of the 
Committee is to conduct an impartial enquiry into 
certain complaints and counter-complaints regarding 
the Missionary activities in the State. Therefore, in 
selecting the members of the committee, Government 
were anxious to have on it men of unbiased and 
impartial outlook, who would function more as judges 
than as advocates of one side or the other. The 
persons nominated have been chosen on this principle, 
and the Chairman of the Committee is a retired Chief 
Justice of the High Court and the former Chairman of 
the Public Service Commission. 

As regards Shri S. K. George, he is a devout Christian 
and a nationalist, belonging to the oldest Church in 
India-the Syrian Christian Church, and has been an 
educationist and a public worker of more than twenty 
years’ standing. He has pursued theological studies 
both in India and at Oxford and was also working in 
Shantiniketan. He has published several books on 
Christianity. Commenting on his appointment, one of 
the outstanding Christian leaders in the country 
described it as a “wise” and “correct” choice. 

Government wish to make it quite clear that it is not 
their intention to interfere with, or curtail in any way the 
right of every individual to practise his religion. 
Government trust that all sections of the people will co¬ 
operate with the committee in conducting this important 
enquiry. 




DIRECTORATE OF INFORMATION AND PUBLICITY 
GOVERNMENT OF MADHYA PRADESH 


PRESS NOTE 

Enquiries into the Activities of Christian 
Missionaries-Committee issues Questionnaire 

Nagpur, the 12th November 1954. 

Public are aware that the Committee appointed by the 
Government of Madhya Pradesh, to enquire into the 
activities of Christian Missionaries in this State 
undertook a tour of some districts in the State with a 
view to secure preliminary information regarding the 
nature of the problem. In the course of these tours, 
various sections of the people were contacted and they 
gave information, oral as well as in writing, to the 
Committee. The Committee received correspondence 
tram the Christians as well as the non-Christians and 
have also gone through some records of the State 
Government. They have prepared a questionnaire 
which is being released separately to the general 
public. Members of the public and representatives of 
the various Christian and non-Christian organisations 
and institutions are requested to furnish such 
information on the subjects referred to in the 
questionnaire, as may be in their possession, 
supported by documents, if any. Copies of the 
questionnaire will be supplied to anyone asking for it by 
the Assistant Secretary, Christian Missionary Activities 
Enquiry Committee, Secretariat Building, Nagpur-1. 

Replies to reach before the 1st January 1955 

The questionnaire is divided into seven parts and 
members of the public and representatives of 
organisations are requested to furnish replies to such 
of the questions only as concern them. It also gives 
the terms of reference of the Committee and a note for 
guidance in replying the questions. 

Copies of the questionnaire in Hindi and Marathi are 
under print and will be available for distribution shortly. 



The Committee is anxious to submit their report to 
Government at an early date and shall, therefore, 
appreciate if replies to the questionnaire are sent 
before the due date, viz., the 1st January 1955. 

The Committee trusts that the answers will be framed 
in the constructive spirit in which the questionnaire has 
been cast. 


APPENDIX III 

The Statement showing particulars about Protestant 
Christian Missions operating in Madhya Pradesh and 
the institutions conducted by the several missions. 




(i) Economic 








Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(a) 

Agricultural 

Settlements 

8 

64 






District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Betul 

Nimpani 

Amegohan 

Farm. 

(2) 

Bilaspur 

Fosterpur 

Fosterpur 

Farm 

Settlement 

(3) 

Chhindwara 

Seja 

Mission Farm 

(4) 

Hoshangabad 

Makoriya 

Makoriya 

Farm Colony 

(5) 

Raipur 

Bisrampur 

Agricultural 

Settlement 

(6) 

Sagar 

Damoh 

Mission Farm 

(7) 

Sagar 

Khurai 

Begahari 

(8) 

Yeotmal 

Harjuna 

Flarjuna Farm 
Village 































Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(b) 

Co-operative 

Societies 

6 

40 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Hoshangabad 

Hoshangabad 

Rasulia Rural 
Development 
Co-operative 
Society 

(2) 

Do 

Itarsi 

Christian 

Weavers 

Copany 

(3) 

Raipur 

Dhamtari 

Christian Co¬ 
operative 

Credit 

Society, Ltd. 

(4) 

Yeotmal 

Taroda 

Christian 
Weavers Co¬ 
operative 
Society, Ltd 

(5) 

Do 

Do 

Christian 
Education Co¬ 
operative 
Society, Ltd 

(6) 

Do 

Do 

Co-operative 

Inddustrial 

Association, 

Ltd 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(c) 

Printing Presses 

2 

44 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Jabalpur 

Jabalpur 

Mission Press 

(2) 

Raipur 

Raipur 

Do 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

























(d) 

Literature 

Distributing 

Centres 

3 

112 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Jabalpur 

Jabalpur 

Mission Press 
Depot. 

(2) 

Nagpur 

Nagpur 

Christian 

Book Shop 

(3) 

Raipur 

Raipur 

Christian 

Book Shop 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(e) 

Miscellaneous 

Indutries 

4 

33 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Betul 

Shahapur 

Brass Industry 

(2) 

Chhindwara 

Seja 

Seja Weaving 
Industry 

(3) 

Sagar 

Sagar 

Carpentry 

Workshop 

(4) 

Do 

Do 

Carpet 

Weaving 









■ 


(") 

Educational 








Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(a) 

College 

2 

44 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Nagpur 

Nagpur 

Hislop College 

(2) 

Jabalpur 

Hawabagh 

Training 

Institute 











































Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(b) 

High School 

15 

345 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Bilaspur 

Bilaspur 

Burges 

Memorial 

Girls High 
School 

(2) 

Do 

Do 

Mission High 
School 

(3) 

Chhindwala 

Chhindwala 

Danielson 

High School 

(4) 

Do 

Seoni 

Mission High 
School 

(5) 

Hoshangabad 

Itarsi 

Friends High 
School 

(6) 

Do 

Do 

Christ Church 
High School 

(7) 

Do 

Do 

Christ Church 
High School 
for girls 

(8) 

Do 

Do 

Johnson Girls 
High School 

(9) 

Do 

Katmi 

Boardsley 

High School 
(Girls) 

(10) 

Nagpur 

Nagpur 

Bishop 

Cotton High 
School 

(11) 

Do 

Do 

St. Ursula 

Girls High 
School 

(12) 

Do 

Do 

Vocational 

High School 

(13) 

Raipur 

Dhamtari 

Dhamtari 

Christian 

Academic 

High School 
























(14) 

Do 

Do 

Jagdeeshpur 

J. M. High 
School (Co¬ 
education) 

(15) 

Do 

Raipur 

St. Paul’s 





(c) 

Middle Schools.- 
In India there 
are 493 Middle 
Schools in 155 
districts out of 

303 and in 
Madhya 

Pradesh 34 

Middle Schools 
in 17 out of 22 
districts. 









Midhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(d) 

Teachers 

Training 

Institutions 

3 

109 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Jabalpur 

Jabalpur 

Training 
Institute for 
Women, 
Howabagh 

(2) 

Nagpur 

Nagpur 

Mecossabagh 
Girls Normal 
School 

(3) 

Nimar 

Khandwa 

M.E. Normal 
School 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(e) 

Industrial 

Schools 

6 

89 


District 

Station 

Name 























(1) 

Bilaspur 

Janjgir 

A.C.F. 

Memorial 

School, 

Industrial 

Department 

(Weaving and 

Sewing). 

(2) 

Do 

Mauladih 

A.V.M. Middle 
School 
(Industrial 
Department). 

(3) 

Chanda 

Chanda 

Girls 

Industrial 

School. 

(4) 

Sagar 

Jagdeeshpur 

Boys 

Industrial 

School. 

(5) 

Sagar 

Damoh 

Do 

(6) 

Do 

Sagar 

Girls 

Industrial 

School. 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(f) 

Schools for 
Missionary 
Children 

1 

12 


District 

Station 

Name 


Amravati 

Chikalda 

Sun Rise 
School 











(iii) 

Evangelistical 








Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(a) 

Theological 
College and 
Seminaries 

2 

37 































District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Jabalpur 

Jabalpur 

Leonard 

Theological 

College 

(2) 

Yeotmal 

Yeotmal 








Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(b) 

Pastoral and 
Evangelistic 
Workers’ 
Institution 

7 

81 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Akola 

Washim 

Bible Training 
School 

(2) 

Betul 

Betul 

Theological 

Seminary 

(3) 

Do 

Shahapur 

Training 

School for 
Women. 

(4) 

Bilaspur 

Janjgir 

Bible School 

(5) 

Do 

Takhatpur 

Do 

(6) 

Buldan 

Khamgaon 

Training Bible 
(Women) 

(7) 

Do. 

Buldana 

Bible School 
for Lay 
Workers. 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(c) 

Bible 

Correspondence 

Course 


48 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(d) 

Christian 

Ashrams 

1 

31 


District 

Station 

Name 






























Jabalpur 

Sihora 

Christiapanthi 

Bhawan 











(iv) Medical 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(a) 

Hospital 

22 

266 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Amravati 

Ellichpur 

Hospital 

(2) 

Akola 

Washim 

Reynold’s 

Hospital 

(3) 

Bastar 

Jagdalpur 

Ruth 

Comings 
Hospital and 
Dispensary 

(4) 

Bilaspur 

Bilaspur 

Jackman 

Memorial 

Hospital 

(5) 

Do 

Champa 

Christian 

Hospital 

(6) 

Do 

Mungeli 

Do 

(7) 

Do 

Takhatpur 

Do 

(8) 

Chanda 

Chanda 

Women’s 

Hospital 

(9) 

Chanda 

Sironcha 

Calson 
Memorial 
Hospital and 
Dispensary 

(10) 

Chhindwara 

Seoni 

Mission 

Hospital 

(11) 

Do 

Junnardeo 

Hospital 

(12) 

Durg 

Baitalpur 

Mission 

Hospital 

(13) 

Do 

Rajnandgaon 

Do 

(14) 

Hoshangabad 

Itarsi 

Friends 

Mission 

Hospital 


































(15) 

Nagpur 

Nagpur 

Mure 

Memorial 

Hospital 

(16) 

Raipur 

Dhamtari 

Christian 

Hospital 

(17) 

Do 

Jagdeespur 

Seva Hospital 

(18) 

Do 

Tilda 

Mission 

Hospital 

(19) 

Sagar 

Damoh 

Christian 

Hospital 

(20) 

Do 

Khurai 

Khurai 

Hospital 

(21) 

Do 

Sagar 

Hospital 

(22) 

Yeotmal 

Umri 

Umri Mission 
Hospital 





(b) 

Dispensaries.- 
In Madhya 
Pradesh 33 
dispensaries in 

13 districts our 
of 22 and in 

India 223 
dispensaries 









Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(c) 

Leprosy 

Institutions 

5 

49 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Amravati 

Kothara 

Leprosy 

Asylum 

(2) 

Bilaspur 

Champa 

Do 

(3) 

Durg 

Chandkhuri 

Do 

(4) 

Do 

Rajnandgaon 

Do 

(5) 

Raipur 

Shantipur 

Do 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 





























(d) 

T.B. Sanatorium 

1 

13 


District 

Station 

Name 


Bilaspur 

Pendra-Road 

T.B. 

Sanatorium 
for Men and 
Women. 









■ 


(v) 

Philanthropic 








Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(a) 

Homes for the 
Blind 

... 

9 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(b) 

Homes for 

Women 

3 

29 


District 

Station 

Name 

(1) 

Durg 

Balodgahan 

Widow Home 

(2) 

Hoshangabad 

Sohagpur 

Women’s 

Home 

(3) 

Sagar 

Sagar 

Widow Home 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(c) 

Convert Homes 

1 

7 


District 

Station 

Name 


Bilaspur 

Takhatpur 

Convert’s 

Home (Girls). 







Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(d) 

Orphanages 

20 

134 













































Orphans.- 

Chikalda, 

Khudwandpur, 

Shahapur, 

Champa, 

Janjgir, Chanda, 

Chhindwara, 

Junnardeo, 

Seoni, 

Balodgahan, 
Dondi, Lohara, 
Rajnandgaon, 
Nagpur, 

Dhamtari, 
Parsabhadar 
and Sagar. 











■ 


(vi) Social 
Work 








Madhya 

Pradesh 

India 

(a) 

Social and 

Welfare 

Organisation 

6 

23 


Social and 

Welfare 
Organisations.- 
Janjgir, 
Rajnandgaon, 
two at 

Hoshangabad, 
Nagpur and 
Raipur. 




APPENDIX IV 
Bibliography 

1. History of Missions by Robert Hunter, 1873. 

2. Life of Alexander Duff by George Smith. 

3. Times of Kerry Marshman Ward by Marshman, 





















1859. 

4. History of Christian Missions in India by Richter, 
1908. 

5. Asia and Europe by Meredith Townshend, 1903. 

6. Christianity and Government of India by Arthur 
Mayhew. 

7. History of the Church of England by Dr. Chatterton, 
1924. 

8. Missionary Principles and Practice by R. E. Speer. 

9. Our Missionary Life in India by a Catholic, 1917 

10. Christian Task in Independent India by Appasamy, 
1949. 

11. Rethinking Missions by a Committee presided over 
by Dr. blocking, 1932. 

12. Christian Mass Movement in India by Dr. Pickett, 
1933. 

13. Children of Hari by Stephen Fuchs, 1950. 

14. World and the West Reith Lectures by Toynbee, 
1951. 

15. India Going Red by Nesbitt, 1954. 

16. Christians and Christianity in India and Pakistan by 
P. Thomas, 1954. 

17. Asia and Western Dominance by Panikkar, 1954. 

18. Imperialism and World Politics by Dr. Parker 
Thomas Moon, 1933. 

19. Imperialism by J. A. Hobson, 1938. 

20. World Politics and Modern Civilization by Dr. H. E. 
Barnes, 1929. 

21. Religious Liberty: an Inquiry by M. Searle Bates, 
1947. 

22. Christian Missions Navajivan Press, 1941, by 
Gandhiji. 

23. The Epic of America by J. T. Adams, 1937. 

24. The American Ideal by Arthur Bryant, 1936. 

25. Studies in History and Jurisprudence by Lord 
Bryee, 1901 (two volumes). 

26. Asiatic Studies by Sir Alfred Lyall, 1907. 

27. Jefferson by John Dewey the Living Thoughts 
Library, 1946. 

28. History of the Sikhs by Cunningham, 1945, 
Bangwasi Press Edition, 1904. 

29. The Riddle of the Universe by E. Haeckel. 1950. 
Thinkers’ Library. 

30. Among Indian Rajahs and Ryots by Sir A. H. L. 
Fraser, 1912. 

31. Empire of India by Sir B. Fuller, 1913. 



32. Christian Mission in Rural India, 1930, by K L. 
Butterfield. 

33. Imperial Gazetteer of India, Volume I, 1907. 

34. Aboriginal Problem in the Central Provinces and 
Berar Grigson, 1944. 

35. World Christian Hand Book, 1952. 

36. Directory of Churches and Missions in India and 
Pakistan, 1952. 

37. The Christian Hand Book of India, 1954-55. 

38. The Catholic Directory of India, 1954. 

39. The Spontaneous Expansion of the Church by 
Roland Allen, 1949. 

40. Missionary Methods St. Paul’s or Ours? by Roland 
Allen, 1953. 

41. Tribal India Speaks by E. DeMeulder, S. J., 1953? 

42. India Immortal, 1946, by E. DeMeulder, S. J. 

43. Vicissitudes of Indian Civilization by M. M. Kunte, 
1880. 

44. The Aboriginal Tribes of C. P. by Hislop. 1866. 

45. The Aborigines so-called and their Future by Dr. G. 
S. Ghurye (Cantab), Head of the Department of 
Sociology, Bombay University. 

46. Laymen’s Foreign Missions Enquiry Regional 
Reports of the Commission of appraisal Indian-Burma, 
Volume I, 1933. 

47. The Whole World is my Neighbour by E. 

DeMeulder S. J., 1949. 

48. Is India Civilized? by Justice Woodrooffe, 1919. 

49. Buddhist India by Dr. T. W. Rhys Davids-Sushil 
Gupta, India, Ltd. 

50. Comparative Religion by Dr. A. C. Bouquet Pelican 
Books, 1945. 

51. Religious Liberty in the Near East by S. A. 

Morrison, 1948. 

52. The World Mission of the Church (the report of the 
World Conference atTambaram, 1938). 

53. Whither Arabia by W. Harold Storm, 1938. 

54. Christian Proselytism in India by M. C. Parekh, 
1947. 

55. One World by Wendell L. Willkie, 1943, Pocket 
Book Edition. 

56. The Nationalities of Europe by H. M. Chadwiek, 
1945. 

57. Communism and the Social Revolution in India by 
Dr. P. D. Devanandan and M. H. Thomas, 1953 

58. Christiya Mandali ka Itihas by I. W. Johari, M.A., B. 



D., 1943. 

59. Chhota Nagpur in Hindi by Kushalmaya Shital, 
1939. 

60. Christianity in the Indian Crucible by Dr. Eddy 
Asirvatham, 1955. 

61. Christianity and Asian Revolution. 1954, by Dr. R. 

B. Manikam. 

62. The Ecumenical Studies, 1954, issued by World 
Council of Churches. 

63. Ways of Evangelism by R. W. Scott. 1953. 

64. The Missionary Obligation of the Church, 1952. 

65. The Elements of Ecumanism, 1954. 

66. The Nature and Function of the Church, Parts I and 
II. 

67. The Influence of Hinduism on Indian Christians by 
R. D. Immanuel (Leonard Theological College, 
Jubbulpore). 

68. 1955 Blue Book Annual Report of the Officers and 
Boards of the Evangelical and Reformed Church. 

69. Christian Home No. 30, 1954. 

70. Mahasabha Vishashank, 1939. 

71. The Meeting of East and West by Professor F. S. 

C. Northrop, 1947. 

72. Hinduism and Buddhism by Sir Charles Eliot, Three 
Volumes, Reprint, 1954. 

73. Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies by 
Abbe, J. A. Dubois Clarendon Press, 1906. 

74. Catholic Dharmaka Pracharak. 

75. Gharbandhu, Nishkalank, National Missionary 
Intelligencer and National Christian Council Review, 
1954-55. 

76. Albuquerque-Rulers of India by Morse Stephens. 

77. Social Problems Appleton Century Co. New York, 
Third Edition, 1948. 

78. Quintessence of Hinduism by Dr. H. O. 
Mascarenhas, 1951. 

79. Heritage of an Indian Christian, Second Edition, by 
Member of the S. P. C. K. 

80. Aboriginal Problem in Balaghat District. 

81. Civilization and Progress by J. B. Crozier. 

82. Travel Diary of a philosopher by Count Keyserling. 

83. Comparotive Religion by Dr. Bouquet, Pelican 
Books 



Footnotes: 


lAs amended by Resolution No. 419-860-V- 
Con., dated 8th May 1954, and Resolution No. 
18-279-XXX-MR, dated 4th January 1955. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books Back 

to Home 







REPORT OF THE CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY 
ACTIVITIES ENQUIRY COMMITTEE, 
MADHYA PRADESH 

VOLUME II 

PART A 


TOUR PROGRAMMES OF THE COMMITTEE 
JUNE 1954 


Saturday, the 5th 
June 1954- 



10 a.m. 


Leave Nagpur. (By 
mail.) 





Raigarh 

District 


Sunday, the 6th 
June 1954- 



7-30 p.m. 


Arrive Raigarh. 

6- a.m. 


Leave Raigarh. 

9 a.m. 


Arrive Dharamjaigarh. 

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 


Discussion with local 
officers and non¬ 
officials, if any. 

11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

3 p.m. 


Leave Dharamjaigarh. 

4 p.m. 


Arrive Pathalgaon. 

4 p.m. to 4-30 p.m. 


Tea. 

4-30 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Meeting at Pathalgaon. 

5 p.m. 


Leave Pathalgaon. 

5-30 p.m. 


Arrive Ludeg. 

5-30 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Meeting at Ludeg. 

6 p.m. 


Leave Ludeg. 







































9 p.m. 


Arrive Jashpurangar. 
(Dinner and rest.) 




Monday, the 7th 
June 1954- 



7 a.m. 


Leave Jashpurnagar. 

8 a.m. 


Arrive Ara. 

8 a.m. to 9-30 a.m. 


Meeting at Ara. 

9-30 a.m. 


Leave Ara. 

10-30 a.m. 


Arrive Jashpur. 

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 


Interview with local 
officers and non¬ 
officials, if any 

4 p.m. to 4-30 p.m. 


Tea. 

5 p.m. 


Arrive Gholang. (4 
miles.) 

5 p.m. to 7 p.m. 


Meeting at Gholang 
and visit to Mission. 

7-30 p.m. 


Arrive Jashpurnagar. 
(Dinner and rest.) 




Tuesday, the 8th 
June 1954- 



7 a.m. 


Leave Jashpurnagar. 

8 a.m. 


Arrive Ginabahar, (21 
miles.) 

8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 


Meeting at Ginabahar 
and visit to Mission. 

11 a.m. 


Arrive Jashpurnagar. 

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Visit to Muskutri. 

8 p.m. 


Arrive Jashpurnagar. 
(Dinner and rest.) 




Wednesday, the 

9th June 1954- 





















































7 a.m. to 9 a.m. 


Interview with officials 
and non-officials. 

9 a.m. 


Leave Jashpurnagar. 

12 noon 


Arrive Pathalgaon. 

12 noon to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

3-30 p.m. 


Tea. 

4 p.m. 


Leave Pathalgaon. 





Surguja 

District 


9 p.m. 


Arrive Ambikapur. 




Thursday, the 

10th June 1954- 



11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 


Visit to Kusmi. 




Friday, the 11th 
June 1954- 



8 a.m. to 11 a.m. 


Visit to Balrampur. 

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 


Meeting at Ambikapur 
Circuit House. 




Saturday, the 

12th June 1954- 



9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 


Visit to Dhorpur. 

2 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Visit to Sitapur. 




Sunday, the 13th 
June 1954- 



6 a.m. 


Leave Sitapur. 

1 p.m. 


Arrive Raigarh. 




Monday, the 14th 
June 1954- 



6-10a.m. 


Leave Raigarh. (By 
mail.) 

4-15 p.m. 


Arrive Nagpur. 























































JULY 1954 


Wednesday, the 
14th July 1954- 



9-10 p.m. 


Leave Nagpur (By 
passenger.) 





Raipur 

District 


Thursday, the 

15th July 1954- 



4-57 a.m. 


Arrive Raipur. 

8 a.m. to 10 a.m. 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 

10 a.m. to 12 noon 


Visit to Institutions. 

12 noon to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

2 p.m. 


Leave Raipur. (By car.) 

4 p.m. 


Reach Dhamtari (48 
miles.) 

4-30 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Visit to Institutions. 

6 p.m. to 7-30 p.m. 


Meeting at Dhamtari. 




Friday, the 16th 

July 1954- 



8 a.m. 


Departure from 

Dhamtari. (By car.) 

10 a.m. 


Reach Raipur (48 
miles.) 

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 


Meeting with officials. 

5-5 p.m. 


Leave for 

Mahasamund. (By 
train.) 

6-30 p.m. 


Arrive Mahasamund. 

7-30 to 8-30 p.m. 


Interview with officials. 























































Saturday, the 

17th July 1954- 



7 a.m. 


Leave for Basna by car 
(50 miles) via 

Bagbahera and Pithora. 

11 a.m. 


Reach Basna. 

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. 


Meeting at Basna. 

3 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Visit to Jagdishpur and 
back. 




Sunday, the 18th 
July 1954- 



7 a.m. 


Leave Basna (By car.) 

11 a.m. 


Arrive Mahasamund. 

(50 miles.) 

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 


Meeting. 

4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Visit to Institutions. 

6-10 p.m. 


Leave Mahasamund 
(By train.) 

8-25 p.m. 


Arrive Raipur. 




Monday, the 19th 
July 1954- 



7 a.m. 


Leave Raipur for 

Bilaspur via Simga and 
Bisrampur (By car.) 

Mod people at Simga 
and Bisrampur. (Half 
an hour at each place). 





Bilaspur 

District 


12 noon 


Reach Bilaspur, by car. 
(75 miles.) 

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 


Meet representatives of 
Christian and non- 
Christian organisations. 












































4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Visit to Institutions. 




Tuesday, the 

20th July 1954- 



7-30 a.m. 


Leave Bilaspur. (By 
car.) 

8-15 a.m. 


Arrive Takhatpur. (1 8 
miles.) 

8-30 a.m. to 10 a. 

m. 


Meeting at Takhatpur. 

10-30 a.m. 


Leave Takhatpur. (By 
car.) 

10-40 a.m. 


Arrive Jarhagaon. (4 
miles.) 

10-40a.m. to 11 - 
40 a.m. 


Meeting at Jarhagaon. 

11-40a.m. 


Leave Jarhagaon. (By 
car.) 

12-00 noon 


Arrive Mungeli. (9 
miles.) 

12 noon to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

2 p.m. to 3 p.m. 


Meeting at Mungeli. 

3 p.m. to 4 p.m. 


Visit to institutions. 

4 p.m. 


Leave Mungeli. (32 
miles by road.) 

5-30 p.m. 


Arrive Chandkhuri. 
(Baitalpur.) 

5-30p.m. to 7.p.m. 


Meeting at Chandkhuri. 

7-00 p.m. 


Leave Chandkhuri. (22 
miles.) 

8-00 p.m. 


Arrive Bilaspur. 




Wednesday, the 
21st Julyl 954- 



7 to 8 a.m. 


Interview with officials. 

8-50 a.m. 


Leave Bilaspur. (Katni 
passenger) 

11-48a.m. 


Arrive Pendra road. 



















































12 noon to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

2 to 4 p.m. 


Meeting 

4 to 6 p.m. 


Visit to Institutions. 




Thursday, the 

22 nd July 1954- 



2-49 a.m. 


Leave Pendra road. 

(Katni passenger.) 

5-41 a.m. 


Arrive Bilaspur. 

7 a.m. to 8 a.m. 


Breakfast at Bilaspur. 

8-03 a.m. 


Leave for Champa. (By 
train.) 

9-34 a.m. 


Arrive Champa. 

12 noon to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest at 
Champa. 

2 p.m. to 4 p.m. 


Meeting. 

4 p.m. to 5-30 p.m. 


Visit to Institutions. 




Friday, the 23rd, 
July 1954- 



7-30 a.m. 


Leave Champa. 

8-30 a.m. 


Arrive Korba. (22 miles 
by car.) 

9 a.m. to 11 a.m. 


Meeting at Korba. 

11 a.m. 


Leave Korba. 

12 noon 


Arrive Champa. (22 
miles.) 

12 noon to 2 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

4-40 p.m. 


Leave Champa. 
(Passenger train.) 




Saturday, the 

24th July 1954- 



5-45 a.m. 


Arrive Nagpur. 





AUGUST 

1954 

























































Tuesday, the 10th 
August 1954- 



9-00 


Leave Nagpur (By car). 





Amravati 

District 


12-00 


Arrive Amravati. 

12-00 to 13-00 


Meeting with officials. 

13-00 to 15-00 


Lunch and Rest. 

15-00 to 17-00 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 

17-00 to 19-00 


Visit to Institutions. 




Wednesday, the 

11th August 1954- 



8-00 


Leave Amravati. 

9-30 


Arrive Achalpur. 

11-00 to 11-30 


Meeting. 

10-30 to 15-00 


Lunch and rest. 

15-00 to 15-30 


Visit to Institution. 

16-00 to 17-30 


Achalpur to Chikalda. 

18-00 to 19-30 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 




Thursday, the 

12th August 1954- 



8-00 to 10-00 


Visit to Institutions. 

10-00 to 11-30 


Chikalda- to Dharni. 

12-00 to 15-00 


Lunch and Rest. 

15-00 to 17-00 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 

17-00 to 19-00 


Visit to Institutions. 




Friday, the 13th 
August 1954- 



8-30 to 9-00 


Dharni to Dedtalai. 


























































Nimar 

District 


9-00 to 10-00 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 

10-00 to 11-00 


Dedtalai to Kanapur 
(23 miles). 

11-30 to 12-30 


Meeting at Kanapur. 

12-30 to 15-00 


Lunch and Rest. 

15-30 to 16-30 


Visit to Institutions, if 
any. 

17-00 to 18-00 


Kanapur to Burhanpur. 

18-00 to 19-00 


Meeting with officials. 




Saturday, the 

14th August 1954- 



8-30 to 10-00 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 

10-15 to 12-00 


Burhanpur to Khandwa 
(43 miles). 

12-00 to 15-00 


Lunch and rest. 

15-00 to 16-30 


Meeting with officials. 

17-00 to 19-00 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 




Sunday, the 15th 
August 1954- 
(Rest.) 






Monday, the 16th 
August 1954- 



8-00 to 9-30 


Khandwa to Pandhana 
(12 miles). 

9-30 to 10-30 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 

10-30 to 11-00 


Pandhana to Aolia via 
Koladit (4 miles) 

(weather permitting). 













































11-00 to 12-00 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 

12-00 to 13-00 


Aolia to Khandwa (16 
miles). 

13-00 to 15-30 


Lunch and Rest. 

16-00 to 17-00 


Visit to Balahi-Awar 
(Khandwa). 

17-00 to 18-30 


Visit to R. C. Mission, 
Khandwa. 




Tuesday, the 17th 
August 1954- 



9-00 to 11-00 


Khandwa to Sirpur via 
Khedi (21 miles) 

(weather permitting). 

11-00 to 12-00 


Meeting at Sirpur. 

12-00 to 13-00 


Sirpur to Harsud. 

13-00 to 16-00 


Lunch and Rest. 

16-00 to 17-00 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 

17-00 to 18-30 


Harsud to Khandwa (38 
miles). 




Wednesday, the 
18th August 1954- 



8-00 to 9-00 


Khandwa to Piplod (1 8 
miles). 

9-00 to 9-30 


Piplod to Karpur (4 

miles-weather 

permitting). 

9-30 to 10-30 


Meeting with non¬ 
officials. 

10-30 to 11-00 


Karpur to Piplod (4 
miles). 

11-00 to 12-00 


Piplod to Khandwa (18 
miles). 

12-00 to 15-00 


Lunch and Rest. 













































18-05 


Leave Khandwa (By 
Pathankot Express No. 

4). 

20-30 


Arrive Bhusaval. 

21-50 


Leave Bhusaval (By 
Nagpur Passenger No. 
383). 




Thursday, the 

19th August 1954- 



8-10 


Arrive Nagpur. 





OCTOBER 

1954 


Sunday, the 10th 
October 1954- 



8 a.m. 


Leave Nagpur. 





Yeotmal 

District 


11 a.m. 


Arrive Yeotmal (by car) 
(92 miles). 

12 noon to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and Rest. 

3 p.m. to 4 p.m. 


Meeting with 
representatives of 
Christian and non- 
Christian organisations 
and institutions. 

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Interview with officials 
(if necessary). 

6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 


Yeotmal to Harjuna and 
back (Meeting at 
Harjuna), (7 plus 7 
miles). 




Monday, the 11th 
October 1954- 



8-30 a.m. to 9- 
30a.m. 


Yeotmal to Ralegaon 
(27 miles). 














































9-30 a.m. to 11 a. 

m. 


Meeting with 
representatives of 
Christian and non- 
Christian organisations 
and institutions. 

11 a.m. to 12 a.m. 


Ralegaon to Yeotmal 
(27 miles). 

12 noon to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and Rest. 

3 p.m. to 4 p.m. 


Yeotmal to Ner. 

4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Meeting with 
representatives and 
visit to institution if any. 

6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 


Ner to Yeotmal. 




Tuesday; the 12th 
October 1954- 



8 a.m. to 9 a.m. 


Yeotmal to Runza (30 
miles). 

9 a.m. to 10 a.m. 


Meeting at Runza. 

10 a.m. to 10-30 a. 

m. 


Runza to Umri (5 miles). 

10-30 a.m. to 11 - 
30 a.m. 


Meeting at Umri. 

11-30 to 11-40 a. 

m. 


Umri to 

Pandharkawada (6 
miles). 

12 noon to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and Rest. 

3 p.m. to 4p.m. 


Pandharkawada to 

Botoni (18 miles). 

4 p.m. to 4-30 p.m. 


Meeting at Botoni. 

4-30 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Botoni to Rajur (10 
miles). 

5 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Meeting at Rajur. 

6 p.m. to 6-30 p.m. 


Rajur to Wani (15 
miles). 




Wednesday, the 
13th October 

1954- 
















































8 a.m. to 9 a.m. 


Meeting at Wani. 

9-30 a.m. to 11 - 
30 a.m. 


Wani to Yeotmal (67 
miles). 

11-30 a.m. to 3 p. 
m. 


Lunch and Rest. 

3 p.m. to 3-25 p.m. 


Yeotmal to 

Kamathwada. 

3-25 to 4 p.m. 


Meeting at 

Kamathwada. 

4 p.m. to 4-30 p.m. 


Kamathwada to 

Darwha (16 miles). 

4-30 p.m. to 5-30 
p.m. 


Meeting at Darwha. 

5-30 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Darwha to Digras (17 
miles). 

6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 


Meeting at Digras. 

7 p.m. to 7-30 p.m. 


Digras to Pusad (17 
miles). 




Thursday, the 

14th October 

1954- 



8-30 to 9-30 a.m. 


Meeting at Pusad. 

3 p.m. to 4-15 p.m. 


Pusad to Umarkhed 
(42 miles). 

4-30 p.m. to 5-30 
p.m. 


Meeting at Umarkhed. 

5-30 p.m. to 7- 
30p.m. 


Umarkhed to Basim (60 
miles). 





Akola 

District 


Friday, the 15th 
October 1954- 



8-30 a.m. to 9-30 

a.m. 


Meeting at Basim. 

9-30 a.m. to IQ- 
30 a.m. 


Visit to institutions, if 
any. 












































10-30 a.m. to 12- 
15 p.m. 


Wasim to Akola (52 
miles). 

12 noon to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and Rest. 

3 p.m. to 4-30 p.m. 


Meeting at Akola. 

4-30 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Visit to institutions, if 
any. 




Saturday, the 

16th October 

1954- 



8 a. m. to 9-15 a. 

m. 


Akola to Khamgaon (34 
miles). 





Buldana 

District 


9-30 a.m. to IQ- 
30 a.m. 


Meeting at Khamgaon 

10-30 a.m. to 11 - 
30 a.m. 


Visit to institutions, if 
any. 

12 noon to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

3 p.m. to 4-30 p.m. 


Khamgaon to Mehkar 
(49 miles). 

5 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Meeting at Mehkar. 




Sunday, the 17th 
October 1954 - 



8 a.m. to 9 a.m. 


Mehkar to Chikhali (28 
miles). 

9 a.m. to 10 a.m. 


Meeting at Chikhali. 

10 a.m. to 11 a.m. 


Visit to institutions, if 
any. 

11 a.m. to 11-30 a. 

m. 


Chikhali to Buldana. 

12 noon to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and rest. 

4 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Meeting and visit to 
institutions. 

















































Monday, the 18th 
October 1954- 



4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Buldana to Malkapur 
(28 miles). 

5-30 p.m. to 6-30 
p.m. 


Meeting and visit to 
institutions, if any. 

11 p.m. 


Leave Malkapur (By 
passenger). 




Tuesday, the 19th 
October 1954- 



10-45 a.m. 


Arrive Nagpur. 





NOVEMBER 

1954 


Friday to 

Saturday, the 

12th to 14th 
November 1954- 







Mandla 

District 

Tour in 
Mandla 
district. 


Monday the 15th 
November 1954- 







Jabalpur 

District 


9 a.m. to 12 noon 


Mandla to Jabalpur. 

Visit to Barela on way. 

12 noon to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and Rest. 

3-30 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Meeting with 
representatives of 
Christians and non- 
Christians. 




Tuesday, the 16th 
November 1954- 









































9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 


Jabalpur to Khamariya, 
Kundam and back. 

1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and Rest. 

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Visit to institutions. 




Wednesday, the 

17th November 
1954- 



9 a.m. 


Departure for Panagar, 
Schora and Katni with 
halts at Panagar and 
Schora for interviews, 
etc. arrive at Katni at 1 
p.m. 

2 p.m. to 4-30 p.m. 


Meeting with 
representatives of 
Christians and non- 
Christians. 

5 p.m. 


Katni to Jabalpur. 




Thursday, the 

18th November 
1954- 



12 noon to 3 p.m. 


Lunch and Rest. 

3-30 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Interview at Jabalpur. 




Friday, the 19th 
November 1954- 



9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 


Jabalpur to Dindori. 





Mandla 

District 


Friday and 
Saturday, the 

19th and 20th 
November 1954- 


Tour in Mandla district. 





JANUARY 

1955 










































Monday, the 27th 
January 1955- 



2 p.m. 


Leave Nagpur (By car). 





Betul 

District 


6 p.m. 


Arrive Betul. 




Tuesday, the 18th 
January 1955- 



9 a.m. to 10-30 a. 

m. 


Meeting of Christian 
and Non-Christian 
representatives. 

(Lunch). 

2 p.m. to 6 p.m. 


Visit to Amla and back 
(By car). 




Wednesday, the 
19th January 

1955- 



9 a.m. to 12 a.m. 


Visit to Swedish 

Mission Chicholi and 
meeting with Non- 
Christian and Christian 
representatives and 
back. (Lunch). 

2 p.m. to 8 p.m. 


Betul to Padhar, 

Nimpani and Shahapur 
and back. 




Thursday, the 

20th January 

1955- 



9 a.m. 


Leave Betul. 





Chhindwara 

District. 


12 noon 


Arrive Chhindwara. 
(Lunch). 


































3 p.m. to 4 p.m. 


Meeting with 
representatives of 
Christians and Non- 
Christians. 

4 p.m. to 5 p.m. 


Visit to Swedish 

Mission and Mission 

High School. 

5 p.m. to 5-30 p.m. 


Meeting with 
representatives of 
Christians and Non- 
Christians. 




Friday, the 21st 
January 1955- 



9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 


Visit to Seja with Halt at 
Amarwara for meeting- 
with representatives of 
Christians and Non- 
Christians. 




Saturday, the 

22nd January 

1955- 



9 a.m. 


Leave Chhindwara. 

11 a.m. 


Arrive Seoni. 

11-30 a. m. to 12- 
30 p.m. 


Meeting with 
representatives of 
Christians and Non- 
Christians. (Lunch). 

3 p.m. 


Leave Seoni. 





Balaghat 

District 


5 p.m. 


Arrive Balaghat. 

6 p.m. to 7 p.m. 


Meeting with Christians 
and Non-Christians 
representatives. 




Sunday, the 23rd 
January 1955- 





































9 a.m. 


Leave Balaghat. 

10-30 a.m. 


Arrive Baihar. 

11 a.m. to 12 noon 


Meeting with Christians 
and Non-Christians 
representatives, Lunch. 

Afternoon 


Visit to Garhi for 
meeting Christians and 
Non-Christians 
representatives and 
back. 




Monday, the 24th 
January 1955- 



8 a.m. 


Leave Balaghat. 

11 a.m. 


Arrive Nagpur. 





JULY 1955 


Thursday, the 

21 st July 1955- 



10 a.m. 


Leave Nagpur. 

4-25 p.m. 


Arrive Raipur (By mail.) 




Friday, the 22nd 
and Saturday, the 
23 rd July 1955- 


Halts. 




Sunday, the 24th 
July 1955- 



3-34 p.m. 


Leave Raipur. 

5-19 p.m. 


Arrive Bilaspur. 




Monday, the 25th 
and Tuesday, the 
26th July 1955- 


Halts. 




Wednesday, the 
27th July 1955- 



7-46 p.m. 


Leave Bilaspur. 
















































10-56 p.m. 


Arrive Raigarh. 




Thursday, the 

28th and Friday, 
the 29th July 

1955- 


Halts. 




Saturday, the 

30th July 1955- 



6-10a.m. 


Leave Raigarh. 

4-15 p.m. 


Arrive Nagpur. 




AUGUST 1955 

First Panel 

1 


Sunday the 7th 
August 1955- 





Leave Nagpur 

1 p. 

m. 

Arrive Jabalpur 

6p. 

m. 

By Car. 








Jabalpur 

District 



Monday the 8th 
Tuesday the 9th 
and Wednesday, 
the 10th August 

1955- 


Halts at 

Jabalpur 








Thursday, the 11th 
August 1955- 





Leave Jabalpur 

7 a. 

m. 

Arrive Sagar 

11 a. 

m. 

By Car. 






Friday, the 12th 
and Saturday, the 
13th August 1955- 


Halts at Sagar. 
















































Sunday, the 14th 
August 1955- 





Leave Sagar 

7 a. 

m. 

Arrive Jabalpur 

11 a. 

m. 

By Car. 

Leave Jabalpur 

3 P- 
m. 

Arrive Mandla 

5p. 

m. 

By Car. 






Monday, the 15th 
August 1955- 


Halt at Mandla. 








Tuesday, the 16th 
August 1955- 





Leave Mandla 

3 P- 
m. 

Arrive Jabalpur 

5p. 

m. 

By Car. 

Leave Jabalpur 

6-35 

p.m. 

Arrive 

Khandwa 

1-23 

a.m. 

By 

Train 






Wednesday, the 

17th, Thursday, the 
18th and Friday, 
the 19th August 

1955- 


Halts at 
Khandwa. 








Saturday, the 20th 
August 1955- 





Leave Khandwa 

6-8 

p.m. 

Arrive Nagpur 
(on 21-8-55). 

8-15 

a.m. 

By 

Train 


Second Panel 


Tuesday, the 9th 

August 1955 

Leave Nagpur (By 
road) 

Arrive Yeotmal 

Afternoon. 

Evening. 

Wednesday, the 10th 
and Thursday, the 

11th August 1955. 

Halts at Yeotmal. 


Friday, the 12th 

August 1955 

Leave Yeotmal (By 
road) 

Arrive Amravati. 

Afternoon. 



























Saturday, the 13th and 
Sunday, the 14th 

August 1955. 

Halts at Amravati. 


Monday, the 15th 

August 1955 

Leave Amravati (By 
road) 

Arrive Washim. 

Afternoon. 

Tuesday, the 16th 
August 1955 

Halt. 


Wednesday, the 17th 
August 1955 

Leave Washim (By 
road). 

Arrive Buldana. 


Thursday, the 18th 
August 1955 

Halt. 


Friday, the 19th 

August 1955 

Leave Buldana. 

Arrive Malkapur (By 
road). 


Saturday, the 20th 
August 1955 

Halt. 


Sunday, the 21st 

August 1955 

Leave Malkapur IQ- 
48 Morning, 
a.m. (By rail). 

Arrive Khamgaon 


Monday, the 22nd 
August 1955 

Halt. 


Tuesday, the 23rd and 
Wednesday, the 24th 
August 1955. 

Leave Khamgaon 
Evening. 

(By passenger.) 

Arrive Nagpur (5-20 a. 
m.). 




NOVEMBER 1955 

| 

Thursday, the 17th 
November 1955 

10 a.m. 

7-24 p.m. 

Leave Nagpur 
(By mail). 

Arrive Raigarh. 

Friday, the 18th 
November 1955 

Morning 

Afternoon 

Leave Raigarh 
(By car). 
























Saturday, the 19th 
and Sunday, the 

20th November 

1955. 


Halts at 
Ambikapur. 

Monday, the 21st 
November 1955 

Morning. 

Afternoon 

Leave 

Ambikapur (By 
car). 

Arrive Jashpur. 

Tuesday the 22nd 
and Wednesday, 
the 23rd November 
1955. 


Halts at Jashpur. 

Thursday, the 24th 
November 1955 

Morning 

Afternoon 

Leave Jashpur 
(By car). 

Arrive Raigarh. 

Friday the 25th 
November 1955 

6-10a.m. 

4-15 p.m. 

Leave Raigarh 
(By mail). 

Arrive Nagpur. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books Back to Home 













EXPLANATORY TOUR NOTES INCLUDING 
IMPORTANT PETITIONS RECEIVED BY THE 
COMMITTEE ON TOUR 

DISTRICT RAIGARH 
DHARAMJAYAGARH 
6th June 1954 - 9-15 a.m. to 12 noon. 

Present-Chairman and Members 

The meeting was held at the Dharamjaygarh 
Club, where officers and non-officials including 
Christian and non-Christian Uraons of interior 
villages were present. A list of the villages, from 
which villagers had assembled, is attached. 

2. Shri Lobo and Shri Francis, on behalf of the 
Christian Regional Committee, were present as 
observers. Shri John Ekka, M.L.A., was also 
present. 

3. Addressing the audience, the Chairman 
pointed at the outset the purpose for which the 
Committee had been appointed by Government 
and intimated that the Committee will proceed in 
an open public impartial and judicial manner to 
find out the truth. He appealed to the audience to 
cooperate with the Committee and to place before 
them whatever information they may have in their 
possession concerning matters relevant to the 
enquiry. He pointed out that the Committee, at 
present, was engaged in a preliminary survey and 
wanted to find out what exactly are the 
grievances of non-Christians against Christian 
missionaries and of the Christian missionaries 
against non-Christians including officers of 
Government. 

4. Shri K. P. Mishra, ex-Chairman, Janapada 
Sabha, pointed out that in the regime of the 
previous Ruler, conversion to another religious 
faith was banned, but, on the death of the Ruler, 



the management of the State was taken over by 
the Political Department as the successor was a 
minor, and during his regime, Christian 
missionaries started their activities. They 
converted masses of Uraons in villages by giving 
them monetary and other allurements with the 
result that an enquiry was held by European 
officers of the Political Department in the year 
1930. As a result of that enquiry, it was held that 
these conversions had been effected by 
temptations of loan, etc., and the Political 
Department ordered that the money advanced by 
Christian missionaries should be refunded 
through the treasury. Thereafter, an Act was 
passed under which the entry of Christians into 
the State was banned. Shri Mishra, therefore, 
placed before the Committee his view that a 
similar legislation should he enacted by the 
present Government. His charge was that 
missionaries converted innocent Uraons and 
Kharias by giving them monetary temptations, by 
advancing them loans and by telling them that, 
they would lose their fear of police and petty 
Forest and Revenue Department officials and will 
not be required to go in begar if they embraced 
Christianity. 

5. A case of one Shri Maya ram, Jan pad Member, 
was quoted by Shri Mishra to show how people 
were induced to become Christians. According to 
Shri Mishra, a Christian pracharak, came to 
Mayaram’s house, stayed therein, gave Rs. 25 as 
rent for a portion of the house which would 
ordinarily get only about Rs. 5 and later appointed 
Mayaram as a Pracharak on. Rs. 30 per month. 
Later, Mayaram became a Christian and told 
several persons including Government officers 
that he had embraced Christianity for sake of 
monetary help. 

6. Shri Bhayaiai Sharma, a teacher, narrated his 
own experience of how people were converted. 
During 1939-42, he was in Baloda Bazar in 
Raipur district, where an American missionary, 
was engaged in preaching and converting 
people. In the course of preaching she used to 
criticise bitterly the Hindu religion and especially 



Lord Krishna. Individual temptations were given 
to Bhayalal Sharma also, but he was not 
prepared to embrace Christianity. He has toured 
the interior of Dharamjaygarh and Jashpur 
extensively and his opinion is that similar activities 
of the missionaries are going on in these areas. 

7. One old Uraon named Buranshah of 
Laxminagar village told that conversions were 
effected by cutting the topknot and advancing 
money. Re-conversions were allowed after a fine 
was paid off. In his village, however, Uraons 
have not yet become Christians though attempts 
are being made by missionaries to convert some 
people. 

8. Mohan, an Uraon of about 18 years of age, 
stated how he became a Christian along with his 
father and other persons of the village about 10 
years ago. After conversion, his name was 
changed to Johan. At present, he is a pracharak 
and has recently started a school, which has 14 
students, all Christians. From the beginning of 
next year, he proposes to teach Christian religion 
to these persons also. According' to him, a young 
lad of a village went to Ginabahar mission centre, 
where he learnt Christian religion and was 
appointed a pracharak. It was as a result of his 
preaching that the whole village consisting of six 
houses became convert. The villagers met in a 
panchayat and decided to become Christians. 
They informed the missionaries who came to the 
village after about a week and the villagers were 
baptized in the village church. He does not know 
if any loan was advanced to his parents before 
conversion. 

9. Shri D. N. Tiwari of the Tribal Welfare 
Department also gave information about the 
methods employed by Christian missionaries in 
various parts of the tahsil in order to convert 
people. According to Shri Tiwari, Christian 
children were prevented from going to 
Government or Janpad schools by various 
coercive measures including imposition of fines 
by the missionaries on the parents of such boys. 

In some villages, where a large number of 



persons became converts, they were coerced so 
that the remaining population also became 
converts. 


10. Members of the Committee asked questions 
to Christian and non-Christian Uraons present to 
know local customs, etc. 

11. Before dispersing, Shri Francis, President, 
Catholic Regional Committee, presented an 
application to the Chairman requesting him that 
an assurance may kindly be given that Christian 
men and women who will tender written or oral 
evidence before the Committee will be protected 
from the effects of executive vengeance and 
wrath as, according to Shri Francis, Christian 
tribals of Jashpurnagar were apprehending that 
they might be 


PATHALGAON 
6th June 1954. 

Domandas Panka of Raymer (Kabirpanthi) 
complained that they are induced to become 
Christians by affording educational facilities to 
children. 

2. The following persons reported that they were 
converted by giving loans for plough:- 

(1) Mangra of Kamrai - FI is choti 
was cut off. Took Rs. 6 and paid 
back Rs. 20. The loan was 
advanced from Tapkara. 

(2) Zakdu of Pokhankot got a loan 
of Rs. 20 from Tapkara, for which 
he was baptized, his choti 
removed. He got reconverted by 95 
in repayment of the loan. 

(3) Zangu of Tildega was given Rs. 

9. He signed a book, was attending 
church every Sunday. He was 



demanded money, when refused to 
go to church. Repaid the loan by 
paying Rs. 30. 

(4) Seetaram Gaothia of Raymer 
was approached by foreign 
missionary of Mendiakhar for 
conversion. 

(5) Thura of Surajpur was offered a 
loan for plough and was threatened 
that if he did not take it he would be 
shot down when their ray would be 
established. 

3. Dewar (now Dunis) of Kamrai was converted in 
1935 in Tapkara, According to him, there is no 
religious preaching as such by the pracharaks. 

He himself is now a pracharak. 

List of villages from which people had assembled. 


1 . 

Pakhankot. 

9. 

Bandigarh. 

17. 

Raghanithpur. 

2. 

Kunkuri. 

10. 

Talgaon. 

18. 

Pathalgaon. 

3. 

Kamrai. 

11. 

Paraghati. 

19. 

Yerekachar. 

4. 

Raymer. 

12. 

Ila. 

20. 

Mudapara. 

5. 

Sapkal. 

13. 

Bantangar. 

21. 

Palidi. 

6. 

Tildah. 

14. 

Kilkila. 

22. 

Turi. 

7. 

Lipti. 

15. 

Godhi. 

23. 

Zakhadpur. 

8. 

Dodagulha. 

16. 

Diwanpur. 




LUDEG 

The 6th June 1954. 

Number of village’s represented-15. Person’s 
present-About 500. 

(1) Somraram of Ludeg, (2) Manguram of Rede, 
(3) Bokha Uraon of Ludeg, and (4) Likhanram of 
Bangaon submitted complaint of the following 
















nature: - 


The Christians destroy Sarnas, if the Uraons do 
not become Christians. The number of Christians 
has increased after the merger of States. The 
Pracharaks threaten that they will drive away 
those people who do not become Christians, as 
soon they are going to have Jharkhand. The 
Pracharaks tell them that the Hindu religion is 
bad. They preach Jharkhand. The Luther 
Mission particularly does so. 

Manguram was Pracharak two years ago. He 
was converted in 1947 by giving him a loan of Rs. 
100 from Tapkara. He became Hindu after 
paying off the loan. 

Michael Lakda of Ludeg, a Christian, told that the 
Uraons drink rice beer and eat pigs. Therefore, 
they are outcast. He was a Pracharak getting Rs. 
30 per mensem and used to go to Ludeg from 
1935 on tour with the priest. 

Michael told that he had no troubles with 
Government officers. He was attacked by the 
non-Christians in Ginabahar. He never speaks 
against the Hindu religion. He teaches in a 
school and is a Pracharak. 

Vidyadhar Khuntia (Yadao-non-Christian) Gaothia 
said, in 1948 Hindus from Jashpur, Udaipur and 
Surguja came to Ludeg because they were 
threatened that they would be massacred, if they 
did not become Christians and did not agree to 
Jharkhand. He also informed that in Majghotri 
bungalow, a cow was slaughtered to insinuate 
Hindus. 


Villages represented at Ludeg. 


1 . 

Chiknipani. 

6. 

Kukurgaon. 

11. 

Batrabahar. 

2. 

Rede. 

7. 

Kukurbhuka. 

12. 

Kudkel Khajri. 

3. 

Birimdega. 

8. 

Bangaon. 

13. 

Kudekela. 

4. 

Badhanapur. 

9. 

Bemla. 

14. 

Zekhanpur. 













5. Mudakhela. 10. Saraitola. 15.Ludeg. 


ARA 

The 7th June 1954. 

One hundred and fifty persons from four villages 
present. 

Jagdish Tirkey (Christian), Secretary, Jharkhand 
Party, Jashpur, told that the headquarters of the 
party is Ranchi. Its President is Shri Jaipal Singh. 
Local president is Shri Michael Tirkey, a 
Christian. There are 100 members on the 
Working Committee, of whom one office-bearer is 
a non-Christian. His name is Dharmorao and he 
is assistant volunteer. 

Maituram Nagesia, of Dharan (a non-Christian), 
said that the Hindus are opposed to Jharkhand. If 
there is Jharkhand, he requested that 
Government should help the people against the 
Christians. 

Abdia Kujur, a Christian by birth, said that if 
Government improve their conditions of living and 
bring them prosperity, they do not want 
Jharkhand. Government should give schooling, 
scholarship, agricultural and medical facilities. 

Balram Pradhan, Uraon from Kharsoto (a law 
graduate of the Patna University) said that the 
movement is purely a Christian movement. It 
fosters in illiterate masses and its members are 
97 per cent Christians. 

Shri Jagdish further informed that the Ram Rajya 
Parishad and the Congress Party are against 
Jharkhand. The Praja-Socialist Party is in favour. 
There are no Communists in the movement. 

The Pastors do not take any interest in Jharkhand 
movement. All other Christians including 









Catholics are in favour of Jharkhand. 


Tuppo, headmaster (a Christian), said that a 
person is told that there is salvation from sin in 
Christianity, and if he is influenced by this and 
wants to become a Christian, he is baptized in a 
church and his name is changed after baptism. A 
register of baptism is maintained in a church. This 
is with the Padri. There are families in which 
there is only one Christian and others are non- 
Christians. They eat together but worship 
separately. All students have to attend a prayer. 
There are Christian and non-Christian students in 
the school. There is also Bible teaching once a 
week. A school building is used for worship, if 
necessary. 

Premsukh Kujur, a local Padri, is in charge of 
Ichakela church since the last one year. He is 
originally from Sindoga sub-division of Ranchi 
district. Villagers seek advice regarding private 
individual matters including money matters. 
Premsukh says Padris do not advance money. 

He is in charge of 9 churches. After prayers, 
enquiries are made regarding individual health 
and difficulties. Musa Turkey, a Pracharak, is 
also a vaidya. They also visit non-Christians. 

They are given medicine, if they want it. When the 
financial position of the padris is sound, they help 
the villagers financially also. Premsukh has so far 
advanced Rs. 40 to Samuel of Biropani for 
purchase of bullocks. Rs. 2 was given to one non- 
Christian Loko also. There are 19 pracharaks in 
his jurisdiction. Their pay is Rs. 15 to Rs. 22 paid 
out of local contribution. They do not get anything 
from mission. The Christian population in 19 
villages, having churches, is 4,000. 

Premsukh, says, there is no complaint about 
failing Christian students in schools deliberately. 

One Kandra from village Sukda was advanced 
loan and later after 4-5 years, was converted to 
Christianity. Several cases have been lodged 
against the Father in the court. 



Vishwanath, son of Leda, from Saila village of 
Kunkuri school, was converted to Christianity and 
through him his parents are also being converted. 


The preachers who visit villages say that the 
villagers are without religion and therefore they 
will not get salvation if they have no religion. 

They don’t attack the Hindu religion. This is not 
true of Lutherand Mission. That is why their 
number is small. It is suggested that more 
facilities for financing money, educational 
facilities, etc., should be given. 

Bahalu of Amertoli was induced to become a 
Christian by Gholang Padri as there was a coin to 
be English raj in a short period. All the people in 
his village are Christians, and as he is the only 
non-Christian, he is socially boycotted. He is not 
allowed to draw water from well. He has been 
removed from service. Babu Dugraj Kisan, of 
Amertoli, ex-gaotia, and Stanislans (Toli) 
confirmed about social boycott. 

Mangaldas of Ara from mouza Kodra said that a 
padri from Gumla division of Ranchi district has 
been coming to his village for the last three years, 
but he is resisted. There is singing ‘ganabajana’, 
etc., when he comes. He tells people that the 
Government is sinful, and so there is no rain. 
Harihar Sukul of Sakardegaon confirms this. 


JASHPUR 

The 7th and 9th June 1954. 

Shri J. Minj, Pleader, Jashpur: Aboriginals do 
not worship God. They are not Hindus. Budhu 
Kujur is a tribal name. Hindus drop out Kujur and 
add ram to Budhu making it Budhuram and thus 
call him Hindu. This has been done by the 
Inspectors of Schools. Tribal surname is not 
changed in Christianity. 




Shri Deshpande, Pleader: Uraons have no 
surnames. They keep the name of clan. After 
arrival of missionaries, they have been putting on 
these surnames. They think their gotra as a 
sacred name. Budhuram is the real name. 

Giving a surname is to make the boy feel that he 
is a Christian. Police complain about this. 
Conversions are not genuine. Uraons have two 
Complaints-one is against conversion, and the 
other is regarding hurting their national feelings. 
Their economic conditions have not improved 
even on conversion. Similarly no change in moral 
conditions. Pro-Bihar movement is a separate 
entity. This shows that they want to carve out a 
Christian State out of India. There is no 
difference among the various sections of 
Christians so far as Jharkhand movement is 
concerned. Political meetings are held in prayer 
houses. A number of instances will he quoted at 
the time of evidence. Foreign missionaries are 
taking most active part. Non-Christians are not 
generally asking for Jharkhand. In places where 
they are in an overwhelming majority, the 
missionaries openly talk of Jharkhand. Non- 
Christian adivasis are not interested in 
Jharkhand. Advancing loans, holding stocks 
(grain bank) and coming to the aid of people are 
some of the methods adopted. It is not possible 
to give information about the total financial aid. 

Gustav Munda (of Lutheran church) ex-M. L. A. 
reconverted to Hinduism in November. 1953-now 
Sukhedeo Sukra of Sundergarh (10 miles from 
M. P. border), Orissa State: Missionaries take 
active part in elections. After independence, tribal 
religion is good for the sake of India's unity. Tribal 
people join different churches and the unity of the 
people is lost. 

Tribal Welfare Department Official: Christians 
take objection to sending boys to Government 
schools. Harishankar Mishra, Assistant District 
Inspector of Schools, Jashpur, intimated that one 
mission school was granted provisional 
recognition after merger. After the expiry merger 
of the period, the mission school did not approach 
for recognition. Christian missionary schools are 



charging fees in cash or kind, which is against the 
rules of recognition. Scale of pay of teachers is 
not as recommended by Government. Names of 
students have been changed by the mission 
authorities and not by Inspectors. Mission 
authorities also refuse certificates to non-Christian 
students. Copies of inspection notes (of schools) 
were given, but missions did not fulfill the 
necessary conditions of recognition. Preachers 
are teachers and it is binding on them that they 
must teach religion. Mission schools have 
unhealthy competition with Government schools. 

On way to Gholang, the following complaints were 
made by villagers from 20 villages:- 


1 . 

Kessra. 

8. 

Kujri. 

15. 

Kantaber. 

2. 

Gumtal. 

9. 

Nimgaon. 

16. 

Gariatoli. 

3. 

Dungartoli. 

10. 

Ratamati. 

17. 

Manora. 

4. 

Khargota. 

11. 

Timarna. 

18. 

Dantoli. 

5. 

Benjora. 

12. 

Pakhartoli. 

19. 

Dehgan. 

6. 

Dadgaon. 

13. 

Bengta. 

20. 

Bildi. 

7. 

Bhadkela. 

14. 

Gamaria. 




It was mentioned to the Committee by villagers 
that missionaries gave allurements of education 
to children and monetary assistance for 
agricultural purposes. They hate Hindu religion. 
Christians performed a drama against Hinduism 
at Chirotoli. Missionaries say, “Become Christians 
and then you will get Jharkhand”. Villagers do not 
want Jharkhand. They also say, “We will give 
free nistar and charai in jungles. If you don’t 
become Christians now, we will convert you later”. 

At Timarna (two miles from Jashpur), non- 
Christians’ services have been terminated. Well 
water is also not allowed to he taken. 

Fairuram of Manora village said, “These are 
Catholic Christians and Father Bulcans instigates 
people to do so”. His wife was threatened for 
taking water. There were several Christian wells. 















Saruwa was converted by giving medicine. He 
was forcibly made to kneel down and pray. 

Punia Budhia also said the same thing. 


GHOLANG 


The 7th June 1954. 


2 , 000 . 


Present- 
Villages-114. 


Shri J. Tigga, Advocate, Gumla, District 
Ranchi (Bihar): Missionaries have been in 
Jashpur State since 1905. They have helped that 
State and now they are helpful to the Indian 
Government. Mission schools have not yet been 
recognised. Every school should be recognised 
for the betterment of the country. Students of all 
religions go there. We do not want to disturb 
peace. All are agriculturists. Our main object is 
to spread education. 10 per cent girls are 
educated. Protection should be given to us as 
minorities. Three girls of Uraon Christian 
community educated up to Matric and at present 
working as teachers in Jabalpur and Delhi. 


Pracharak of Chichli: One man was converted 
on 12th March 1954 with his own consent. 
Receives pay of Rs. 5 per month. Has cultivation 
of 7 acres. Complains against Mangru Patel of 
Saila and says he abuses Father. 


Alexis Toppo (Vishwanath) of Sanna was 
converted as Catholic in 1947. 


At present 19 Wears of age. Parents and 
grandfather alive and not converted. He says, “I 
was enrolled in school when I was six years of 
age. I became Catholic with due consideration 
and not at the instance of anybody. I had taken 
permission of my parents before conversion. I live 




with parents. Five maunds rice is taken in the 
school as fees. Rs. 63 per month be-sides 
boarding fees inclusive of boarding charges” 

C.O., T. W. D., says, “Don’t send your sons to 
mission school”. He is Sansari. 

Complains against Deshpande of Jashpur that he 
abuses Fathers. Deshpande is responsible for all 
the troubles. 

Marha (now Phillip Ekka). - A distillery has been 
erected in his field. He wants that it should be 
removed from there. 

Lucas wants that the school should be 
recognised and helped. 

Petros says that Christians do not want 
Jharkhand. Catholics are not in favour of 
Jharkhand. At present they are P. S. P. 
followers. A. D. I. S. asks the teacher how many 
students should be passed. A. D. I. S. did not 
allow students of Gholeng to appear at primary 
examination in Jashpur. Treatment was unfair. 31 
students were allowed to appear at the 
examination out of 52 after giving test. 16 passed 
out of these 31. Previous test should not be 
conducted and the examination should be 
conducted here. The examination should be for 
three days and in writing. We do not get wood. 

Marquis. - The whole progress is made as a 
result of the conversion to Christianity. We have 
improved and progressed very much. 

Chairman thanked the gathering. The Committee 
visited the Gholeng school and the church after 
the meeting was over. 


RAYKERA ON WAY TO GINABAHAR 


The 8th June 1954 - 8-30 a.m. 


About 100 people.-Village (1) Raykera, (2) 
Ghursa, (3) Kandara, (4) Mayali, (5) Deogarh, (6) 
Jokhari, and (7) Bodokatha. 

Masat Baiga of Jokari: Christians play drama 
against Hindu religion. The people agreed to send 
a copy of the drama. Christians want to destroy 
Sarnas of Adivasis saying that there is ghost in it. 
They are prevented from sending pupils to 
Adivasi schools. Christians preach Jharkhand. 
Cows are used by them for ploughing instead of 
bullocks with a view to hurt our religious feelings. 
They are also forced to eat beef. 

Ladhuram of Raykera: Place of worship where 
they had installed Mahadeo has been ploughed 
down. 


ON WAY TO GINABAHAR 
The 8th June 1954 - 9 a.m. 
About 50 

people. 

Villages-12. 


Ghatmunda. 

Khejurkher. 

Ladoh. 

Kunkuri. 

Ginabahar. 

Teradi. 

Remte. 

Gerakota. 

Ambachuha. 

Bakoube. 

Rajadandi. 

Kerdali. 


The people who were mostly non-Christians, 
complained against Christians and presented 
applications and spoke about the performance of 
drama, which is Anti-Hindu. 


GINABAHAR 










The 8th June 1954 - 10 a. m. 


Present-Two-third Christians and one-third non- 
Christians. 

Ramghora Choube, Hindu: A Hindu girl, 12 
years of age, by name Budhni Urai, has been 
kept in a Christian house. She was not traceable 
for three days. She has property. It is 
understood that it is proposed to marry her to a 
Christian. Her father’s name is Raghubara, who 
has expired in Rajouti. Her mother has gone to 
Assam. Bhuddu Uraon (Hindu) was entrusted 
with the care of the girl when she was five years 
of age. She stayed there for five years. He was 
her brother. Nanuram, Christian, of my mouza 
has kept the girl in his house since the last five 
months, with a view to convert her. A complaint 
has been given to police. Shri John Ekka, M.L.A., 
is also involved in this case. 

A Christian Father threatened on the 19th 
February 1954 some 800 Hindus (converts). With 
his fear they again became Christians. The case 
has been reported to police. 

At the instigation of Christian missionaries this 
meeting has been called and has been attended 
by non-Christians and they are ventilating their 
grievances from their platform. 

Petros and Benjamin of Katmoda (seven others 
also) say that they were fraudulently converted to 
Hinduism by some mission. They were asked to 
keep topknot. That has since been removed. 
They were told that they would be given clothes 
and land. 

Petros Tirkey. - The complaints against 
missionaries are false. We are born Christians. 
Our parents were Christians. 

Benidhar of mouza Lodma, Hindu 
agriculturist. - A drama was performed by 



Christian boys where it was said that Ganges 
water does not give salvation, so also going to 
Mandirs, and abused Hindu preachers, Devdevta 
and Tukdoji. Some Hindus went to see and 
others were Christians. 

Daluram of Chuhikuha: We were making kirtan. 
In the end, when we said ‘Seetaram ki Jay’, 
Christians came and said ‘Jesus ki jay’ and 
‘Jharkhand ki jay’. ‘Ram was only a raja, he was 
not a God’. This happened only once on 6th May 
1954, Thursday. 

Gabriel of Ludhma: In the fair held in the month 
of May, a teacher from the Tribal Welfare 
Department interfered. Report was made to 
police. Sub-Inspector of Police came and 
troubled us. We were not given food. There were 
11 actors in the drama. Four dramas were 
performed, viz., Jashpurka Sadhu, Mattipuja 
(witchcraft), Budhabudhi and Soneka Gufa. The 
witchcraft said that I cure patients by giving them 
flowers. We took one month to learn this drama. 
Two of the shows were moral and three were 
Tamasha. 

Sukhpalsingh of Remte and Jaisingh: On 19th 
May 1954 we were performing kirtan. Christians 
from Dhodhidet came. They were about 150 in 
number. Cyril was among them. He shouted 
‘Mary Amma ki jay’, ‘Jharkhand ki jay’. Their road 
was different, but they came deliberately by this 
road, because we were doing kirtan. 

One Christian of Dhodhidet: It was dark and so 
we went by a short cut. We did not say Jharkhand 
ki jay. We were about 100 in number. We said, 
Meri Mata ki jay. 

A Christian from Tangargaon: After Janpad 
election, a complaint was given against Boko 
Sardar in writing. Nagan Padri was taken to Atras 
Soma’s house for fear of Boko. Boko Sardar 
abuses Christians in Tangargaon with a dagger in 
his hand. He did not beat anybody. Simply he 
shouted. Made water in church. 



Gurbal Baiga, Non-Christian, Ludhma: One 

man was tied by Christians. A sarna plant was 
also axed. I beard all this. 


Bhandari in Kunkuri since Raja’s time: Swamiji 
and Deshpande said, ‘You can’t become P. S. P. 
as you are Raja’s servants at the time of Janpad 
election. Swamiji said, ‘You become Hindu; 
otherwise I do not want to see your face.’ 

Thomas, Forest Guard: Complains against 
Hindus. 

John Ekka, M.L.A.: We are blamed for 
Jharkhand, but we do not want it. We are not anti¬ 
nationals. Charges of conversion levelled against 
us are false. My grandfather brought 
missionaries from 136 miles in Ranchi and we 
became Christians. Christian and non-Christian 
spirit was not there previously, but since 
Deshpande’s coming this has started. On 
October 11,1941, Deshpande came to church in 
procession with a view to perform kirtan. 
Deshpande is responsible for all the troubles. 

The result of this spirit will be very bad. This may 
result in disturbance to peace and order. Political 
differences have been introduced recently. Some 
Hindus started pro-Bihar movement. This 
movement is not of Christians only. 


MUSKUTRI 
The 8th June 1954. 

Present- 

2 , 000 . 

Villages-58. 

Dilbodhandas, Panka, Kabirpanthi: Took loan 
of Rs. 20 from missionaries. Two houses and 
land have been taken. Still the missionaries want 
Rs. 30 for complete repayment. 




There were six more persons having the same 
complaint. 

Bikna Urao of Pakdi Kachha: Two tests in 
primary final examination of Mission School 
students. Officers of Jashpurnagar ask caste 
when approached for appointment. There was a 
class of patwari training in Muskutry, where 53 
students learnt and 52 passed. One of the 
students sought the job of patwari. The Kanungo 
said, that he does not recognise Anamat training 
in Madhya Pradesh. 

The school teacher says, “We cannot count you 
as tribals because you are Christian”. In Patel 
election the man selected by Christians was not 
appointed but votes were taken. 

In Basan mouza, Pakhnikota toli, there were 50 
Christians and 22 non-Christians. Voting was 
also the same for patel. But the man who 
secured 22 votes was selected because it was 
said that, that man getting highest number of 
votes was a Christian. Budhadhar of village 
Mukundram was appointed by Tahsildar. The 
other person who was supported by Christians 
was not appointed. We went to court nine times, 
but no heed was paid because we are Christians. 

Boko Sardar spoils sanctity of the church. Patwari 
reports cases of Christians bringing grass lands 
tinder cultivation. There are no Christian 
patwaris. Christians are required to pay double 
the bribe for recording changes by the patwari. 

The Christian Father present said that in Ghugri 
village Christians are riot allowed to graze cattle 
and wash clothes in public places. Government 
officers don’t help. There is likely to be a 
communal clash. 

In the Muskutri hospital, it was reported that it was 
visited by 500 patients per month and people 
came from far off villages. 



JASHPURNAGAR. 


The 9th June 1954 - 9 a.m. 

Sub-Divisional Officer, Police, stated that it is not 
a fact that Ghatmunda people were made to say 
in the thana for the whole night. He also said that 
enquiries were made against Boko Sardar as and 
when complaints were received against him, but 
nothing had so far been found on which he could 
be prosecuted, and there was also no evidence 
and witnesses to help Government from the 
complainant party. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 


Next 








DISTRICT SURGUJA 


KUSMI 

10th June 1954 


Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Names (if legible) and 
number of signatories, 
place, etc. 

(1) 

(2) 

Gopalghasi 
with two 
witnesses of 

mouza 
Mulshekela, 
tahsil Samri 
(Christian). 

Bini Christian was asked to do 
begar for Raghuvir, Forest 
Guard, by Gopairam, 

Chaukidar of mouza 

Mulkikela, tahsil Samri. On 
refusal he was beaten. No 
action on report made at 

Sanna thana, Samri tahsil. 

Ledwa Chamar 
of Chanda 
Madwa (Non- 
Christian). 

Anthony, Pracharak, erected 
house on land cultivated by 
Leduwa. 

19 signatories 

Roman Mission Pracharaks 
often pay visits. They show 
allurements and ask for 
signatures. People interrupted 
in their work. Manguram, 

Varana Ram and Sukhu 

Uraon became Christians as a 
result of allurement. Desires to 
give oral information. 

20 signatures 

Cattle place converted into 
market place at mouza Diwri, 
thana Samri. Request for 
reconversion into cattle place. 

10 signatures 

Matru Uraon has given 
accommodation in his house 
to Joseph Uraon, Pracharak of 
Ranchi. 












Kandru Urban, 
mouza 

Surbena. 

Kandru had to face difficulties, 
Pracharak Khajuriwala 
assured him help and got him 
married to a Christian girl. No 
help rendered. Requests to be 
relieved from clutches of 
missionaries. 

7 from 

Krishnagar 

Pracharak staying at Nanaka 
Miya’s house in Krishnagar 
shows allurements and gives 
threats. 

39 signatures 
from about 25 
villages. 

Missionaries give allurement 
of jharkhand where cloth will 
be sold at one anna a yard 
and salt also very cheap. 

15 from 

Mulsikala 

Domnik, preacher, staying at 
Pilloo Uraon’s house. 

Converted seven families so 
far. These families are 
oreating dusturbances by 
disobeying kotwar chaukidar. 
Ask others to embrace Christ 
inity because there will be 
Jharkhand very soon. 

Rev. Lakra, 
Leader, 

Lutheran 

Church and 

Rev. P. Bock, 

T. Kujur, 
Emmanel Lakra 
(Christians). 

English application. 

Rev. J. L. 

Lakra, 

President, 

Gossner 

Evangelical 

Lutheran 

Church, 

Jashpur. 

Do. 

Jayaram Kujur 
and Sukh 

Uraon, Deori. 

Tiwari, Headmaster, Adivasi 
School, forcibly removed 
photo of Jesus Christ from 
Jayaram’s house. 













Jayaram Kujur 
and three more. 

Tiwari prevented 

Jawaharnagar and Kamlapur 
Christians from performing 
prayer in Bodraram’s house. 

Bhandari, 

Tirkey, Temba 
Uraon, 

Karadand and 
Sohra Uraon. 

Complaint against Tiwari and 
Chhediram, who made fiery 
speeches against Christian 
religion and Fathers with 
threats. Patwari was present. 

3 from Ratasili, 
thana Samri 

Two constables from Samri 
police station went to Ratasili, 
and abused catholic 
preachers. They arrested one 
preacher Albinus. As they 
were bringing him to Kusmi, 
he ran away near Vainganga 
river. 

Alois, 

Pracharak and 
three more 
from Jamira. 

Chaukidar Temna Ghasi and 
a constable from Samri thana, 
obstructed Christians from 
performing prayer in Riku 
Uraon's courtyard with abuses 
and threats. 

Petrik and 

Milbinu Uraons, 
Ghugri. 

Three catholics offered 
prayers in mouza Ghugri. 

Next daytheywere called by 
Viswanath Patwari at Adivasi 
school where they were 
abused and threatened. 

Petrik Kujur was slapped. He 
was given three bozas of fuel 
free as demanded by him. 

Jayaram Kujur 
and Mangru 
Uraon, 

Pamlapur. 

Tahsildar, Kusmi, abused 
Christians. 

Temba and 
Bhadari Uraon, 
Karadad. 

Tahsildar, Kusmi, abused 
Christians at Madguri and said 
that fields of Christians will be 
looted, they will be beat and 
shot down. 

Unsigned 

application 

Gajadharpur Patel and 

Fulchand Dhobi beat 

Jowakim, a catholic preacher. 














Chhanduwa 

Uraon, 

Gutradih and 
Pracharak 
Joseph Tirkey. 

Chhanduwa, chaukidar, was 
threatened for giving shelter to 
Christian missionaries. 

Kamil Kujur 
and two others 
from Bhulsi. 

Catholics sent to Samri thana 
by chaukidar of Bhulsi for 
offering prayers without 
permission. 

Louis, 

Pracharak, 

Karadand 

Rambrichha, constable, asked 
Etwa Munda to drive away 

Ignes Munda, a catholic 
pracharak. 

Puliki Pracharak 

Rambrichha, constable, 
slapped and threatened 

Mahesh Rajwar for going with 
Christians. 

Bandhana 

Uraon, 

Jadatala. 

Nasiruddin, constable, asked 
Ignes Munda to quit 

Bandhana Uraon’s house. 

Louis, 

Pracharak, 
Karadand and 
two others. 

Rambrichha. and one 
constable asked Leuis, a 
catholic preacher to quit 
Karadand and abused him. A 
note-book on his person was 
forcibly taken away and has 
not been returned so far. 

Louis, 

Pracharak 

Louis reports a meeting of 
Rajmohni held at mouza 

Amtahi under the 

Chairmanship of Balram 

Prasad Sonar. He abused 
Christians and asked people 
to beat Louis if he visited their 
places for prachar. 

Contribution was to be 
arranged for Balram Prasad 
and his tour for religious work 
was fixed. 













Ghuma, Kahru 
and Bhagta 
Uraons. 

Mst. Dukhi of Surbena married 
Ghuma Uraon. She was 
asked by Patel, Patwari and 
Cbaukidar to drive away 

Ghuma from the house, 
otherwise they would kill him 
whenever he was found. 

Martin Kujur 
and two more 

Achhnu, Chaukidar of Ghughri 
called Gabriel and Martin to 
Samri thana. They went there 
walking 16 miles. Tiwari, 

Head Contsable, wrote their 
names and places and after 
taking money from them they 
were allowed to go. 


KUSMI 

The 10th June 1954 - 11-30 a.m. 

Attendance-About 2,000 from 63 villages. Forty 
Christians and rest Non-Christians. 

At the outset the Chairman introduced the 
members of the Committee and explained the 
purpose of their visit. 

There are three missions working-Catholic, 
Lutheran and American. 

Sukharam Uraon of Karmi Toli: Induced to 
become Christian by giving him money. A 
Christian Uraon purchases land in the village as a 
tri al, whereas others (non-aboriginals) are not 
allowed to purchase. If land is purchased in this 
manner, he apprehended that there may not be 
enough land for tribals of the village themselves. 

Father: Pracharaks move from village to village. 
Christians have a special place of worship. We 
teach gospel, generally St. John’s. 






Rajendra Prasad of mouza Harri: Complains 
against purchase of land by Christians. A 
Christian purchased the land of one Makan 
Miyan’s daughter on Makan Miyan's death. His 
wife has married another Mohammedan and the 
daughter is living with her uncle. 

Budhwa Uraon: Christians have converted a 
resting place of cattle (nistar land) of mouza Deori 
into a market place, because Uraons of that 
village did not embrace Christianity. Ramsunder 
Patwari confirms this saying hat Christian 
villagers are asked to sit in that place for bazar. 
Villagers from Barwe Chhechari (in Bihar) come 
there. They observe Saturday market in that 
place since one year. There is also a sarna in 
that place. 

Bawna, son of Jetho Uraon of Gajadharpur: I 

had given an application to Government for land 
as I had none for cultivation. I waited for three 
years and later became a Christian (Catholic) with 
the hope that I will get some land. But I did not 
get any land and, therefore, again I became a 
Hindu. 

Ramdayal of Ghulsinga: There is ten Christian 
houses in my village out of a total of 80. Two 
Christians came to the village sometime back 
saying that they were Hindus, but they were 
Christians. Chaukidar’s son was beaten by them. 
They say, ‘We don’t care for any Government 
officers and don’t obey them’. I am treated as an 
obstruction in Christian work because I do not 
allow villagers to become Christians. They are 
Roman Catholics. When I was beaten, I had 
given a report to Sub-Inspector of Police at Kusmi 
He said he would come for enquiry but he was 
transferred later. Domni, Tani and Binny beat him. 

Domi: I am a Christian by birth, belong to Ghulsi 
village and am a Pracharak of Roman Catholic 
Mission. Pay is about Rs. 30 to Rs. 35 per, 
mensem paid by the Mission. Father Francis of 
La tahsil pays it. Has been living in the village 
since two years. Before that he was a teacher in 



Adivasi School, Ambikapur, for one year. Before 
that, peon to Food Inspector. Before that, was 
living in his house in Barwe (Ranchi district). 

There was only one Christian house when I came 
to Ghulsi. Now there are ten houses. I converted 
eight houses. I preach that the world started with 
Adam and Eve. I say that idol worshippers will be 
ruined. When a man agrees to become 
Christian. I write his name in my book, and then I 
take him to Father Francis after teaching him 
dharam. Birsahay was converted by me last 
year. Fie was taken to Father Francis after one 
year since his name was written. Till that time 
Birsahay was making enquiries from his friends 
about Christianity. I took him to Father Francis 
after teaching him the lessons and giving him 
bath. Father had been to the village himself. 

Wife and three daughters of Birsahay were 
converted by the father. Six or seven families 
were also converted by the Father with all their 
minor children after giving them holy bath. I get 
my pay irrespective of the number of persons 
converted. 

On 25th December, which is Christmas Day, we 
were in church. It was about 6 or 7 p.m. 
Chaukidar and jungle-chaprasi came there and 
asked for a man to take his goat, which he had 
brought from Titartoli to Chhapartoli. The goat 
was brought walking. We told him that we were in 
Girja and, therefore, we could not do it. Kotwal 
started shouting and disturbing us. Kotwal’s son 
was drunk and he beat Benjamin. About 50 
persons were busy in prayers. There were three 
persons with the chaukidar’s son and jungle 
sepoy. Fie stumbled in the door and said that we 
had beaten him and went away. Next day, 

Billuram was beaten when he was sitting with his 
son in his yard. I did not report the matter to 
police. 

Ramtapiram of Serangada: Pracharaks say that 
they will give cheaper cloth to those who become 
Christians when they will have their raj of 
Jharkhand. 


Bultu of Ambikapur: Nagesia by caste. Always 



had come to the village saying that there will be 
Father’s Raj and we will not allow you to live. 
Pracharaks also come there. He said that you 
have got your seat in Delhi. They said they would 
give land and cloth. Some villagers were 
converted in Gopati. 

Gangaram said that the Christian Father asked 
his father to be present in another toli, but he was 
ill. Therefore, he did not go. Alwis, Pracharak, 
came to him saying that the Father had said 
Jawahar Raj has come and there is no happiness 
to the people. When Christian Raj will come, they 
will get happiness. 

Khagnaram: I had been for the meeting in 
January 1954. Elderly sons did not go but 
children went. Father from Gopati had come. He 
said that his religion was best of all, teaches 
children, gives land and houses. He said that 
Jawahar’s raj will go and our raj will come. If you 
don’t come in our religion, you will have troubles. 
You will not get cloth and salt. 

Alwaris (Alwis) Nagesia: I had been to 
Khangnaram’s house to call people. Petros 
Father was there for the meeting. He did not say 
anything. About 50 persons were present in the 
meeting. In the Congress Raj, according to the 
Constitution, all religions are free and, therefore, 
we have come to you to preach our religion and if 
you join the Christian religion, God will give you 
salvation from sin. Congress Government is in 
raj, but if the raj is given to Catholics, we will not 
take it. He denies the statements made by others 
previously. There was gramophone and, 
therefore, children had come for the meeting, 

Petros Uraon of Ratasili: On the 3rd June at 10 
a.m. six to seven Hindus came in a jeep from 
Khatata. They called the Fathers and said that 
they would destroy the houses and everything of 
Christians. He is a Pracharak getting pay of Rs. 
25. My family is in Bihar. I have come here since 
the last seven months. I was called by the 
Fathers. Belongs to Catholic Church. 



Mohararam Marwa of mouza Khajria: 

Missionaries visited several villages and also my 
village when there was cholera. They asked us to 
join their religion and they would give free and 
good medicine. They gave good medicines to 
Christians. They took high prices from us. They 
asked as to whether a man was Hindu or 
Christian before giving medicine. Hindus did not 
get medicine. They could get it only if they paid 
high prices. 

Lohara of Jodhpur supports the above 
statement. 

Jairam of Jawaharnagar (Christian): One 

Tiwariram, Hindu Pracharak, came one Sunday 
and told that he would not allow us to pray saying 
that lie was sent by Government for this. We did 
not perform puja. Reported the matter to Samri 
police station. Ratiram, a Hindu Pracharak, had 
come through the headmaster of a school. He 
asked “Why do you keep this (Jesus) photo? I will 
give you another Hindu photo”. He took away the 
photo, but did riot give me another photo. The 
matter was reported to Samri police station. I was 
converted to Christianity in Assam. There also 
there is conversion to Christianity. There the 
Father is Father Lewis of Catholic Mission. 

Tiwari, master, is dead. I had gone to Assam on 
agreement for three years. 

Kandru of Kardar: Louis master was a 
Pracharak. I had signed one paper through 
mistake, but did not want to become Christian. 

So he told me that I should become a Christian. 
He was threatened that he would be removed to 
jungle. Father will rule. Deputy Commissioner, 
Tahsildar and Inspectors were servants. They will 
go away. Gaothia’s son is a Pracharak. He said 
that he would shoot him. 

Reverend Lakda: I am from Lutheran Mission 
and am an important office-bearer. There is no 
Jharkhand movement here. Lutheran population 
is divided in blocks. Lutherans here do not share 



their opinion. Catholics are also divided. Both 
Catholics and Lutherans are divided on the 
question of Jharkhand and in both of them there 
are promoters of the movement. It is not merely 
confined to our Lutherans only. It is also the 
same case with Catholics. 

European method of missionaries is that they 
have got a Home Board. That sends missionaries 
and they are supported. They settle down and 
then they begin to work. 

The Gossner Lutherans have no money. We 
have cut off our connections with foreign 
countries. It is purely Indian. Our method is first 
to have a Christian congregation. If the village is 
nearby, the whole Christian congregation from 
one village goes to another village. If the villagers 
want us, we go otherwise we do not go. They 
always welcome us. I have not come across any 
disapproval. We start with Indian Bhajans. We 
then explain in a very simple language about 
Jesus. We do not criticise other religions. Our 
headquarters is in Ranchi. We do this group 
sending several times and then if the villagers are 
ready, we send our pracharak. He begins to 
teach Luther’s catechism, 10 commandments. So 
far I have not come across any opposition. We 
would like to live peacefully with our Hindu 
friends. We run schools. We have got our High 
School near about Ranchi. We have one school 
at Ichkela and Sarahpani. We don’t issue 
pamphlets. Our main support is Indian money. 

We make an appeal and by way of Christian 
Charity, we get money sometimes from 
individuals, from societies. Last year, we got 
about Rs. 60,000 for five provinces from Lutheran 
World Federation at Geneva. There is a 
combined society called National Missionary 
Society. Our church is autonomous. We 
approached America through our executive 
board, and received Rs. 90,000 from U. S. A. for 
one year we received for Surguja area. It is from 
the united body. There is one authority here in 
Guntur in South India and he receives money for 
this area. From them we get the money. We 
maintain accounts and they are audited. There 



are 60 to 70 pracharaks of my mission for the 
Surguja area. We pay about Rs. 40 to each 
pracharak (basic pay of Ranchi plus Surguja 
allowance). Roundabout 1,500 is the population 
in this area. Pracharaks are trained mostly in 
Ranchi, and now we are training in Ambikapur. 
We started with 15,000. At Surguja, we have not 
yet started a regular school, except a Bible 
School. We give Rs. 30 as pay to start with. We 
give from the Mission Fund and then we get it 
back from the Government when it is recognised. 
They allow us to teach religion outside the school 
hours in the premises. We get grants even 
though we are Christians. There are four 
missions in this area-Dubki (Baptist) Mission, 
Roman Catholics, Mennonite and Lutheran. We 
have happy relations with others. Mennonites 
have about dozen, Catholics a hundred, and the 
Swedish Mission in Baikunthpur, about half a 
dozen pracharaks. 


RAJPUR 

The 11th June 1954. 

Attendance-300. Villages-19. 

Twenty-seven signatories from Budhabagicha, 
Bisambharpur, Khodro, Pampaur, etc. 

The signatories say that - 

(1) adivasis are Hindus, 

(2) Christians are not adivasis, and 

(3) they do not want Jharkhand. 

Attendance-300 (Four Christian Pracharaks and 
the rest Hindus). 

Itwaram of Patratu: Christians say that 
Jharkhand Raj will shortly come and they will give 
cheap salt and cloth. Sankargarh preachers say 
this. 




Solomon Minj of Roman Mission: I am a 

pracharak at Chargarh. All pracharaks come from 
Jashpur. I get Rs. 25 as pay. I do not preach 
Jharkhand. There is one pracharak in each 
village. The root (jad) of Christians is in Rome 
city. 

Patel of Chargarh: The pracharak preaches 
prayers. He does not say anything about 
Jharkhand. 

Ramsahay Gond of Parsagudi: There is also 
preaching at Parsagudi about Jharkhand. 

Birsahay is the name of the Pracharak. He says, 

‘If you do not become Christians, we will call 
military forces to punish you’. 

Kanhai of Karra, Uraon Gaotia: One Pracharak 
requested a house to live in during the rainy 
season, but I did not give. The pracharak 
threatened me saying that I would come in 
difficulties. 

Gahemram Gond of Ukhra: Complains against 
the Pracharak. The Pracharak is paid Rs. 27 per 
month. Domnik, Pracharak, teaches girja. We 
refuse to learn. He says, ‘It is your pleasure’. I 
have been sent by the Father for this. 

Bonry of Ambikapur: The pracharaks are 
working since the last one and half years. There 
are about ten houses in each village where the 
pracharaks are working. 

Koyram of Lan, Uraon: Missionaries wanted to 
induce our children to become-Christians by 
affording them education facilities. The pracharak 
in his village also talks of Jharkhand. 

Sankram Gond of Parsagudi: We did not get 

cloth, food, etc. Therefore, we were asked to 
become Christian so that we could get it. 



AMBIKAPUR 


11th June 1954. 

Abstract of applications received on Tour 


Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Names (if legible) and 
number of signatories, 
place, etc. 

(1) 

(2) 

Catholic 

Christian 

Adivasi, 

Ambikapur. (No 
signatures). 

Denied charges of conversion 
by force or allurement, 
Jharkhand prachar and anti¬ 
national activities. Complaints 
that Hindus make propaganda 
against missionaries and 
cause disturbance to peace. 
They give open threats to 
Christians. 

5 signatures, 
non-Christian. 

Jako, preacher, has written 
his name as Christian without 
consent and knowledge. 

Janardanram 
Sahu, Basen 

Since Patel Kariram Uraon 
became Christian, he is trying 
to convert others also. There 
are several preachers in the 
village. 

4 signatures 

Allurement of money 
generally. Ask for house to 
live in and also threaten. 

6 from Sontarai 

Christian preachers live in 
large numbers. They trouble 
women of the village and 
show fear of police and father. 

6 from Karabal 

Preacher from Raigarh came 
and said that he was sent by 
Government to convert 
people to Christianity. 













Chunda Uraon 
from Deogarh. 

The pracharak lived in my 
house for 10 months. He is 
not prepared to leave it now. 
Once Father came and tried 
to convert people by showing 
allurement of money. As 1 
refused to become Christian, 
my brother has been 
converted and they have 
created quarrelsome 
atmosphere in the family. 
Enquiries may be made in the 
village. 

Pichhagaram 
from Deogarh 

Christians abuse Hindus and 
threaten to beat. Bolo, Pira 
and Etwa Uraons are their 
leaders. Some of the people 
named in the application are 
new converts and they trouble 
the women fold of the villages. 

4 from Telaghar 

Women are misled by 
allurement of saree, oil and 
soap. If opposed, show fear of 
Father and police. 

7 from Menpath 

Complaints against Petros, 
teacher. He has called two 
preachers Ellios and Alwins 
and one lady preacher Silena. 
Try to have immoral relations 
with women by showing them 
allurement of soap, saree and 
oil. 

Sabhapati, 

Gram Congress 

Committee, 

Deogarh. 

Father spreads false rumours 
to convert people, shows 
inducement and talks of 
Jharkhand. If opposed, fear of 
gun and lathi is shown. 

Tokriram, 

Dhelsara 

His daughter has been 
kidnapped by missionary 
preacher. When be 
approached the Father, he 
said that this was done 
because he did not embrace 
Christianity. Villagers will bear 
evidence to this. 












Badoram 

Uraon, 

Councillor, 

Janapada 

Sabha, 

Ambikapur. 

Preachers say that they are 
Government servants and 
they are pled Rs. 25 per 
mensem each for preaching. 
They gather people by using 
gramophone, etc. They abuse 
Hindu religion and Congress 
Government. They threaten to 
beat by lathis or guns. Do 
mischief to women. Kheso 
and Raju Uraons are given 
every help by the Christians. 

3 from Surbena 

A Christian missionary stays 
in the house of Bhagna 

Uraon. He has converted one 
Kandtu Uraon by force. He 
says Father will give money if 
you become Christian. If you 
don’t accept it, you will not 
remain in this raj. 

Bhikhuram 
Bhagat, mouza 
Lajri. 

Bhikhuram Uraon has been 
converted by force. 

2 from Karadand 

Kinthu Uraon, preacher, lives 
in Mangru Uraon’s house. He 
says either become Christians 
or go away from the village. 

Biganram Kisan 
of Madwa, 

Khasha Tapa, 
Madwa, thana 
Samri. 

Simon, preacher, said Father 
gives money and land. He 
asked people to embrace 
Christianity. After three days, 
he came with the intention of 
raising a quarrel. 

4 from Ghughri, 
thana Three 
Samri. 

Christians came and said they 
were, Oraond. They were 
given water. In 1953 they got 
their topknots cut off and are 
harrassing the non-Christians 
to become Christians. They 
have brought under cultivation 
all land including grazing land. 
An enquiry into the actions of 
these people may be held. 












Aluwas Ram, 
mouza Surkai, 
district Palamu. 

Allurements shown to 
embrace Christianity and bad 
names called to Congress 
Government. 

3 from Diwari 

Do. do. 

6 signatures 

Complaints against Patel 
Rambin Baniya, Harchand 
Gond, Bigam Gond and 
Jagmohan Cherwa that they 
harass and beat and boycott 
socially. Also complains 
against Forest a Ranger. 
Desecrated place of worship. 

Alwasram 

Pana, mouza 
Surkari. 

Alwis Christian, mouza 

Surkar, district Palamu, 
brought Father to Gopat, who 
tried to induce people to 
embrace Christianity. 

Dharma Sabha, 
Pithora 

Dharmsabha, Pithora, 
resolved not to change 
religion (Hindu). 

Mansap, 

Member of 

Semra 

Complaint against Patwari 
Undual Christian, who is 
giving applicant’s wadi to 
others. Requests enquiry. 

4 non-Christians 

Complaint against Amtahi 
Father and Alwis Christian, 
preacher. They apprehend 
unrest if activities of 
missionaries are not checked. 

5 from mouza 
Korgha 

Father called names to 
Congress raj, and wrote his 
name without his will and 
consent forcibly. 

20 signatures, 
tappa 

Magarpur, 
thana Sitapur. 

Allurement of money given. 

4 from mouza 
Karadand 

Complaint against Shani and 
Anganu Uraors, that they 
threaten and ask to become 
Christians. 
















11 from mguza 
Madguri, tola 
Karadand. 

Allurement of money and 
threats of missionary raj. 

Kanhai Ram 

Patel, Uraon, 
mouza 

Bhodgadi. 

Allurement of money, free 
education, 12 yards cloth per 
rupee and also threats of 
driving away. 

4 signatures 

From durbar of Uraons three 
Christians took away the wife 
of Zakadu Uraon. When they 
tried to rescue her, threw 
urine on their persons. Matter 
reported to Patna thana, but 
no action so far. 

4 from Kardand, 
tappa Madguri. 

Complaint against Satiram 
Uraon, patel, that he took 
signatures on one paper by 
force and later asked the 
signatories to become 
Christians as they had 
signed. Shows disrespect for 
Government Officers. 

Complaint already lodged with 
Deputy Commissioner in 

March. Requests enquiry in 
the matter. 

Zagarusinha, 
mouza Chando 
(calls himself a 
prominent 
leader of the 
village). 

Prabhudas pracharak took a 
procession raising anti-Hindu 
and pro-Ciiristian slogans. 

Police enquiry was held and 
this was proved to be true. 

8 from mouza 
Bhulai 

Complaint against Domnik 
and Rohna Patel preachers. 

21 from mouza 
Deori 

In 1953 Father from Ratasili 
induced people to use cattle 
resting place near Sarna for 
bazar. 

16 signatures 

Padri from Khuntipara made 
discrimination in giving 
medicine when there was 
cholera in the locality. 















Unsigned 

Complaint against Rohna and 
12 other families of Uraon 
Christians that they let their 
animals, free and destroy his 
fields. Also complains against 
Patel that he got annoyed 
when requested to keep 
record of outsiders coming to 
the village, shouted out and 
gathered all Christians with a 
view to beat him. Report 
made to police thanComplaint 
against Rohna and 12 other 
families of Uraon Christians 
that they let their animals, free 
and destroy his fields. Also 
complains against Patel that 
he got annoyed when 
requested to keep record of 
outsiders coming to the 
village, shouted out and 
gathered all Christians with a 
view to beat him. Report 
made to police thana Samri.a 
Samri. 

2 from Darndah 

Embraced Christinity by 
allurements, but after one 
month realised the deceit and 
reentered Hinduism. 

Etwaram of 
Korandha, M.L. 
A., Janapada 
Councillor and 

11 others. 

Father from Ratasili by name 
Francis Ekka was allowed to 
make a speech regarding his 
religion in one of the Hindu 
meetings. People did not 
appreciate his speech. He 
has converted the meeting 
place, Sarna and cattle 
resting place into bazar 
without permission from 
anybody. Matter reported to 
police. If the Father is not 
prevented from his activities, 
there is likely to be danger to 
peace. 









2 signatures 

A Christian preacher staying 
at Sukhrao Uraon’s house 
tries to mislead people. He 
creates disunity in the village 
and abuses people under 
introxiation. 

Seven from 

Salwa 

Four Christian families in the 
village have brought road 
used by non-Christians under 
Kodo cultivation. Enquiry 
should be made about this. 
Their animals are also put in 
cattle-pound whenever found. 
Frequent troubles make life 
difficult to live for non- 
Christians. 

13 from 
Singchora, 
thana Rajpur. 

Preachers show alluremert of 
money, land, speak of 
Jharkhand and also threaten 
that in Jharkhand lands of 
non-Christians will be looted. 

11 from mouza 
Ladua, thana 
Rajpur. 

Show allurement of money, 
land, grain, handia and free 
education. 

13 from moura 
Dignagar, thana 
Rajpur. 

Preachers show allurement of 
money, land, speak of 
Jharkhand and also threaten 
that in Jharkhand lands of 
non-Christians will be looted. 

10 from mouza 
Khumri, thana 
Rajpur. 

Do. do. 

3 from 

Shangargarh, 
mouza Ladwa. 

Show allurements of money, 
freedom from begar, handia 
and education. 

11 from mouza 
Okara 

Preacher Konda alias 

Daundel Uraon shows 
allurement of land. He also 
threats that lands of non- 
Christians will be taken away. 
Teaching of prayers goes on 
in the village by Chuis Uraon 
and Vokonda Uraon. 














Kanhairair 

Gaotia 

Gives allurement of free 
education, revenue free land 
and also threats. 

10 from mouza 
Karra, thana 
Rajpur. 

Bulchu Uraon has taken 
possession of Bamda Uraon, 
Sakindah’s land and also 
threatens other. Nistar forest 
being cut and destroyed. 

8 from mouza 
Ukawa, thana 
Ghorpur, district 
Surguja. 

Christian preachers say that 
they will give cloth, and free 
education. They also threaten 
that in Christian, raj 

Government officers will not 
trouble, they will ruin their 
cultivation. If they do not listen 
to this they will bring military. 

10 from mouza 
Gopalpur, thana 
Rajpur. 

Allurement of grain and 
money for purchase of land 
and free education. Also 
threat that they will be looted 
if they do not become 
Christians. 

2 signatures 

Daughter of one Korwa 
kidnapped. If necessary, 
enquiries may be maae to 
verify the truth. Had to pay 
fine of Rs. 300 to his 
castefellows. 

2 signatures 

Wife of an Uraon, where a 
pracharak was putting-up for 
a month, was kidnapped. If 
necessary, enquiries may be 
conducted in Udunkela. 

10 from mouza 
Baidhi, thana 
Rajpur. 

Allurement of land, and free 
education. Threat of taking 
away land in Jharkhand. 

Ambikeshwar 
Sharan Singh, 
Chairman, 
Janapada and 

69 others. 

Application from important 
non-Christians to be gone 
through in detail. 

Representatives 
of Surguja 

DO. do. 















Aryabandhu, 
Wanprasthi 
Preacher, Arya 
Pratinidhi 

Sabha, Madhya 
Pradesh, 

Nagpur. 

Arya Pratinidhi pracharak 
gives instances of missionary 
activities. Quotes instances of 
forcible conversion, money 
inducement by preacher, 
Government officers helping 
in conversion, kidnapping of 
girls, etc. 

Digambar 

Kesheo 

Kulkarni, 

Ambikapur. 

Tried to take in their schools, 
more attention towards 
religion than education, 
students are gradually made 
to cat in a common (Christian) 
mess, and name is written 
first Oraon name and then 
Christian name calling him 
alias so and so. Christian 
name is used in practice. 
Remedies : No Christian 
school within a particular 
distance of Government 
school or non-recognition to 
other schools till demand on 
Government schools are full. 
Christians have opened 
patwari classes which help to 
spread religion. Government 
sho uld open patwari and 
technical schools. Loan 
advanced at high rate of 
interest and in difficult times 
recovery or conversion of 
family demanded. 

Sukha, son of 
Sumarsahaya 
Uraon, mouza 
Narkeli, Korea 
sub-division. 

Remedy : Establishment of 
debt conciliation boards and 
action under Moneylenders’ 

Act as they do not posses 
licences. Government should 
open poor homes for orphans. 









Dehur Uraon, 
Narkeli, thana 
and tahsil 
Baikunthpur. 

Dular was induced to become 
Christian and his wife was 
forcibly converted against her 
wish. She escaped Christians 
and has come to her father, 
who wants that his daughter 
should be taken to Hindu 
religion and action against 
Christian missionaries should 
be taken for the their acts. 

4 signatures 

Furata was married to 
Dazaram’s son. Dasaram was 
induced to become Christian 
and later Funata was 
kidnapped by Anandmasih, 
son of Patras Ekka, 
pracharak. When questioned 
the father of the girl is told 
that the husband and wife 
have been to Ranchi for 
change of climate and they 
have been sent by church. 
Requests action against the 
preachers. 

5 from Salwa 

In Salwa several villagers 
have been converted by 
showing allurement. 

Christian’s kidnappe girls, 
gave allurements of land, 
hospital, school and 
education. They also threaten 
that if people do not become 
Christians willingly, they will 
have to become Christians 
compulsorily in Christian raj. 

13 from Judar 

Village, 

Kadampara 

Dhodhapara, 

etc. 

Christians of Lutheran church 
of Baikunthpur have come to 
Salwa and have started 
converting people. This has 
disunited villagers. Also 
general complaints. 










12 from mouza 
Amgaon, thana, 
post and tahsil 
Baikunthpur. 

Christian activities have 
brought differences among 
villagers. Several crimes have 
been committed by Christians 
missionaries for which they 
have been fined. 

Mansao Uraon, 

mouza 

Kanchanpur. 

Christians entered the village 
and did some forcible 
conversion. Anandmasih 
kidnapped Dasa’s daughter-in- 
law and Bikia’s daughter. 

Evengelical 

Lutheran 

Church. 

General complaint that 
Christians wanted to make 
prachar but the villagers 
prevented them from doing so 
and Rev. Tigga quotes 11 
cases of Hindu persecution. 

Shri E. Raman, 
President, 
Evengelical 
Lutheran 

Church in 

Madhya 

Pradesh, Sagar. 

Shri Raman’s letter to say that 
activities of Christian 
missionaries in Sagar, 
Chhindwara and Betul 
districts are above board. 

Members of 
Legislative 
Assembly and 
Janapada from 
Korea sub¬ 
division. 

Swedich Lutheran Mission 
very active in Baikunthpur 
tahsil. Their methods of 
conversion are very mean. In 
Salwa they threatened and 
forced. Two girls kidnapped. 
Adivasis are made to'look to 
Christian Padris for their daily 
necessities. It is also 
understood that they get 
monetary help from Amerrica. 
There is prachar of Jharkhand 
party. Disunity is being 
created among the Adivasi 
fold. 


AMBIKAPUR 


Attendance-300] 


[Villages-18. 









Bhanduram Uraon of Bhagwanpur: I say I am 

Hindu. Christians say that by being Christian, you 
will have less land revenue. They say they are 
educated and wise, whereas Uraon’s are illiterate 
and therefore they are deceived by anybody. My 
name is Bhanduram from my childhood. Jashpur 
people come to my village. The pracharaks 
coming are Uraons. There are six houses in my 
village. No one in my village has become a 
Christian so far. Garhaipani, Batwabora and one 
more village have their camps. They visit six 
times in a year. They are coming since the last 
three years. 

Brahmaprakash Gupta: Received information 
that Christians come and tell that you had been ill- 
treated by Hindus so long because their raj was 
there. If you become Christian, you. will not be ill- 
treated. Pracharaks say that they have been 
instructed not to talk to we (educated) people. 
They have been instructed to talk to adivasis only. 
I have not heard any meeting myself. So far as I 
know there are no converts in my tahsil. There 
were no Christians previously. The objectionable 
things which they say are-(1) If you become 
Christians, the Christian fold will increase and we 
will be able to have Christian raj and you will be 
happy. (2) The Congress raj will be going shortly 
and the Christian raj is to come shortly; so if you 
become Christian, you will benefit. (3) You do not 
become Christian, and your land will be 
confiscated when there is Christian raj. (4) You 
will get many more facilities in Christian raj. (5) All 
the tall talk about budget provision for adivasis is 
only an eye wash and propaganda. Tribal 
Welfare Department is starting schools registering 
names for giving loans. There is no Hindu 
organisation doing welfare work for the adivasis. 
Kisan Mazdoor Congress does some work in this 
direction. 

V. N. Dube: A law student and a teacher. Those 
who have become Christians have not done so 
for the sake of religion, because they are willing to 
come back. A Christian comes and stays in the 
house of a mukhia and tries to win him over. I am 



told that some were given money (Rs. 5) not to 
restrict others from becoming Christians. 59 
persons were converted in Ganjhadeo which is 
six mills from Ambikapur. Roman Catholics and 
Lutherans are active there. They were converted 
during the last three years. I do not know when 
exactly they were converted. One teacher of 
Ganjhadeo named Maniram has been made a 
preacher and he is paid Rs. 30 per month. Whole 
families were converted. There was no 
opposition in the beginning. But later on I 
understood from the patel that he was again 
reconverted. In Ratasili I met Father Francis 
Ekka, Roman Catholic. Hi said that Uraons are 
not Hindus. There is Mundan Sanskar in Uraons 
like Hindus. Haldi is also practised in Uraons like 
Hindus. The bridegroom applies Sindoor to bride. 
Uraons have gotras. Sagotra vivaha (marriage in 
the same gotra) is not performed in Uraons. He 
said that Uraons eat beef. I said that some of the 
Chamars do it. Francis said Uraons are buried 
after death. But so far as my information goes, 
still today Uraons burn their dead bodies. One 
Roman Pracharak of Jamdi said he would die for 
religion and not for nation. Objectionable features 
of missionaries are as follows. They are 
purchasing land in large quantities in villages 
showing thereby that they are rich and tell them 
that you become Christians and we will give the 
land to you. In marriages. Christians try to make 
one party Christian, and they compel the other 
party to be converted. Ganga Dashhara is 
observed on the banks of a tank or river. They 
immerse tribal head dress (Marriage) and other 
things in the river. They think the water as pure 
as the Ganges. Christians show that they are 
rich. They tell the people that we will advance 
money. They take their names. They say they will 
not take interest. Those who are given money, 
are asked to attend church. Christians say that 
shortly they will have Father or Christian Raj and 
they will be driven out and only the Christian will 
remain there. Others will be driven away. I have 
heard this. Preachers flatly deny this. All 
preachers know what is Jharkhand. Christians 
thought that with the abolition of States, they 
would be able to convert people to Christianity 



and have their own raj. Shri Jaipal Singh is the 
president of that party. They think of taking all the 
merged States in one zone. Here the tribals are in 
a large number. I saw a Pracharak speaking to 
10 to 12 villagers. When I went there, he kept 
mum. Father Wanra said, ‘I do not support 
Jharkhand movement, but I cannot say what my 
men talk’. He said that Lutherans are in favour of 
it. My impression is that the Lutheran and the 
Catholics are both in favour of it. They have 
divided the area according to the various missions 
and they are all working in co-operation, though 
they do not show it openly. 

Aryabandhu from Aryapratinidhi Sabha: I 

heard that there was an agreement between the 
Roman Catholics and Lutherans to work in 
particular areas. Lutherans get financial aid from 
the Roman Catholics. Salbha village is about five 
miles from Baikunthpur, where choti was cut off 
forcibly. Names of persons who were convicted 
for forcible conversion shown. He gives a number 
of complaints from several forcible converts. 

The work of Arya Samaj is going on m this area 
since the last six months. I have come from 
Nagpur. I do not blame the Christian religion. 

They should hold their meetings in the open and if 
they are satisfied, they may be converted. They 
are all illiterate persons. We take our meetings in 
the open and explain to them. I preach Vaidik 
dharma. Baikunthpur is my centre. Christians 
have opened one hospital in Baikunthpur since 
about one year. There they charge some fees. 

By giving medicines, they convert people. I object 
to their becoming Christians, because thereby 
they lose their nationality and are reduced in 
number. I have no objection to people remaining 
Muslims and Christians. But they should not 
adopt the methods employed by them at present. 
We teach a person Gayatri Mantra. We do not 
show any attraction. So far only four persons 
have been reconverted. There are 30 Christians 
in my area. I had no clash with any Christian. 
Nobody came in my contact. I am 72 years of 
age. 



Bhimsen Chopra: I am a social worker and a 
correspondent. I have to tour the whole district. I 
have several Christian friends. Two years ago m 
Sitapur and Geturma, I came to know that 
Christians were telling people to register their 
names for getting loans. In Pathalghon also I saw 
the same thing. I was given to understand that 
the Padri Saheb of America had come and people 
would get as much as they wanted. They were 
going to Lipti, Pidia and Dhatgodi in thousands to 
get their name registered with the agents at these 
places. Some days before I came here, some of 
the people met me and I was informed that they 
did not receive any amount though their names 
had been written. I saw an application only the 
other day. I have got the letter and shall produce 
it when required. I have got a magazine which 
gives this information. Name of the magazine is 
Dhambandhu of the Lutheran Church. Editor of 
the paper is Rev. Lakda (Mr. Lakda says that this 
is correct). (If copies of the last two years are 
available, they should he obtained from Rev. 
Lakda). There is a Mennonite Mission whose 
agent is Paul Avenger. In Vishnupur there is a 
Korwa. His daughter has been kidnapped by a 
Pracharak. He had to pay Rs. 300 as fine 
because his daughter was kidnapped. I am a 
member of R. S. S. The purpose of the register is 
to attract the adivasis to Christianity. (Abua 
Jharkhand of Ranchi). Sanjivan of Patni of 2nd or 
17th August 1953 contains an article of Shri 
Francis. Hindus are termed as Dikkus in that 
article. I have got a book of about 150 pages 
which gives instructions about conversion. There 
is reference to Goa and it is said therein that the 
Goanese there are very happy. The present 
tension created in Goa is a mere show. This 
shows then trend of mind. They support Naga 
land movement of Assam (Catholic Digest 
magazine). There are articles contrary to our 
religion. Pakistan and America pact has been 
supported by this magazine. This is a Christian 
magazine. Even an illiterate adivasi says that 
America has helped us and our lot will be shortly 
improved. In school a boy was made Christian 
and was sent as a Pracharak. He has given a 
statement in the presence of prominent citizens of 



this thing. Always Rai from Belgium, informed me 
that if there is partiality against Christians, then 
they cannot improve their lot unless the have got 
their own raj, though personally he was against it. 

Rev. Ekka: 90,000 has reference to special 
building programmes. 

President, Tahsil Congress Committee: When 
Masih was A. D. C. here, he appointed 36 
teachers in Jashpur schools who worked as 
Pracharaks. All the other servants also work as 
Pracharaks. Ratiram and Arjun, Mukhias of 
Pankas of Surajpur tahsil, have been given Rs. 

50 and 40 respectively, and told that they should 
become Christians. While they were performing 
religious rites after death, they were advised by a 
Christians Pracharak that they should better 
become Christians, and called bad names to 
Hindus. Called a meeting of 2,000 Pankas on 
31st. They said that all Christians are well-to-do. 
Hindu Brahmins do not perform your worships, 
then why do you remain Hindus? The meeting 
was called in Kaluwa. 

A teacher in Samri: In 1952 Mr. Masih removed 
some teachers from 7th class and appointed 
those who had Mission School certificates. I was 
also removed from service. A Pracharak from 
Sariwa has kept a choti and says that he is 
Hindu. He is at present staying in Kusmi. In 
Gopatum village Christians came with chotis. 

Yadubansa Narayan Singh: In 1949-51 he was 
in St. Xiever’s College in Bihar. There he saw 
discrimination against Hindus. They were not 
allowed to perform Saraswati puja in the hostel, 
whereas Christian students were allowed to 
perform their religious functions. 


BALRAMPUR 


The 11th tune 1954 




Attendance-700] 


[Villages-58. 


Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Names (if legible) and 
number of signatories, 
place, etc. 

(1) 

(2) 

Michael, Lakda, 
mouza 
Mahawepi, 
thana 

Balrampur. 

The Gaotia said that 

Christians will not get land and 
their lands will be auctioned. 

At the instigation of Sheo 

Patel, Government officers 
used to threaten Christians 
and asked them to go away 
from Surguja. Ranger, Forest 
Guard and Munsi called 
Michael’s father and abused 
him. The matter was reported 
to Tahsildar, who warned 

Sheo Patel. Sheo Patel 
quarrelled with Michael to take 
vea,neance. He instigated the 
villagers to beat him. 

Johan Jarhu 
Uraon, mouza 
Turidih, thana 
Balrampur. 

Jagesar Pandit and Bhandari 
Babu, Ambikapur, went to 
Turidih, called johan and told 
him that he had become 
Christian. He was threatened 
that the land and money of 
Christians would be taken 
away and they would be 
beaten. 










Prabhudas 

Ekka, Madwa 
Tapa, thana 
Samri. 

Clears away the charges 
levelled against Christians. 
Government officers threaten 
Christians. In mouza Jodhpur 
and Karcha, there was a 
communal quarrel at the 
instigation of officers. Fathers 
do selfless service. No 
allurement of money. 

Jugeshwari Pande of 

Rajmohini Panth makes false 
charges. Medicines are given 
to all and a small fee is 
charged. Christians don't 
preach anti-national activities. 

Ishwariprasad 
Tigga on behalf 
of Christians of 
Mandwa. 

Embraced Christinity willingly. 
Christians are not anti¬ 
national. Hindu religious 
organisations like Rajmohini 
and Hindu Mahasabha 
threaten us and keep bad 
names to Christianity. Even 
petty Government officers 
harrass Christians. Quotes 
one example of 1952. 

66 non- 
Christians from 
different 
villages. 

Adivasis are Hindus. Christian 
preachers say Christian Raj 
will shortly come, Congress 

Raj is no good, adivasis are 
not Hindus. 

Remis Bek, ex- 
serviceman, 
Karmajind, 
thana Samri. 

He was called to thana without 
summons or notice by a head 
constable of Samri thana. 

Head constable and Sub- 
Divisional Officer asked his 
caste and Sub-Divisional 

Officer warned that Christians 
are not allowed to stay in 
Surguja district. He was 
driven out of the place within 

24 hours. The matter was 
reported at Ranchi 
employment exchange office 
who advised him to go back to 
Surguja district. His property 
and cultivation was lost. In 











1952 when people were 
assembling to offer prayers at 
his house, two constables 
came and dragged him away. 
The constables gave him false 
names and numbers. 

Carolus Ekka, 
ex-service 
man, mouza 
Padarwani 
(Premnagar), 
thana Maturi. 

An ex-serviceman engaged in 
teaching boys was asked to 
report at Kusmi police station 
by the Sub-Divisional Officer, 
where he was threatened and 
asked with whose permission 
he had entered the State. 

After three months again 
Pandarwani people brought 
him back. Again after nine 
months Tahsildar, Revenue 
Inspector and two military men 
came and threatened him and 
he was driven away from the 
State. 

Basu Uraon 

Deoraj Jamadar, Zagru Patel, 
Chaitu Chaukidar and Somaru 
Chaukidar after prayers at 
house of Petros asked the 
Father why he had come there 
and with whose permission. 
After departure of Father in 
the afternoon, a head 
constable called and abused. 

A heid constable beat Basu 
and he was handcuffed. A 
false case was lodged against 
Basu and he was sentenced 
for four months. 

Anthony Beck, 
thana 

Chainpur, 
district Ranchi. 

Harrassed by Tahsildar, 

Kusmi and Sub-Inspector, 

Samri and driven away vrom 
Surguja. 

Moraha Uraon, 
Jodhpur 

Sub-Inspector and Tahsildar 
abused and beat and asked to 
send his son. Harrassment 
because he is a Christian. 










Simon Uraon, 
mouza Jodhpur. 

Complaints against Sub- 
Inspector that he harrasses 
him. 

Nirmal Uraon, 
mouza Jodh 
pur, thana 

Samri, district 
Surguja. 

Complaints against Deoraj 
Jamadar who beat and 
harrassed. 

Pali Uraon, 
Mahkipo 

Harrassed by petty 

Government officers because 
he is a Christian. 

Sukhu Uraon, 
mouza 

Ratakola Tapa 
Madwa, thana 
Samri. 

Sub-Inspector of Police and 
Sub-Divisional Officer abused 
and asked to go away. 50 
Chegam (standing and sitting 
on legs 50 times) by catching 
each other’s ears. 

Jokhana 

Joseph Uraon, 
mouza Jodhpur 
Topa Madwa, 
thana Samri. 

Jhagadusingh Patel sent two 
military men, who stayed in 
the night, carried and ate pigs, 
drank wine and abused 
Jokhana. 

Six non- 

Christians 

Sukhdayal 

Singh, etc., of 
mouza 

Magarhara and 
Cherawa. 

Babu Rajakaransingh sold his 
land to Christians. This should 
not be allowed. 

Sukhdayal 

Singh, 

Magarhara. 

Request for land. It should not 
be given to outsiders. 

42 signatures 
from mouza 
Nawadih, Tapa 
Mohari, thana 
Balrampur, 
tahsil Pal, 
district Surguja. 

Request for land. 

Unsigned 

Janapad cess should not be 
recovered. 


Deopatram, Balrampur: I do not want to become 
a Christian, but missionaries try to influence me 












by saying that shortly there will be Jharkhand raj 
of the Christians and they will give salt and cloth, 
etc., at cheap rates. You will suffer if do not 
become Christian. Congress Government is not 
giving you happiness. There are no Christians in 
Balrampur. Preachers come here to say that you 
become Roman Christians. The preacher lives in 
Turidi. 

Iswariprasad Tigga: I am a teacher. I live in 
Palamu in Bihar and look after the work of teacher 
and preacher here. There is a school in Marwah 
Kappa. I visit this place once a month at least. I 
receive Rs. 60 per month. I belong to the Church 
of Christ. There are six teachers. They are also 
pracharaks. There is also one missionary, Mr. 
Christie, to supervise their work. He stays here. 

All Christians are from Palamu. He has come 
here since the last three years. They are all 
Uraons. He is also an Uraon. I have passed 
Matriculation at Ranchi. When Pracharaks came, 
there was no Christian here. There are over 150 
converts in my area, i.e., 60 to 70 families of 
Uraons. We teach them religion with their 
consent and when they grasp the things fully and 
express their willingness, they are given a holy 
bath first, and then prayer takes place and they 
are told that they have become Christians. When 
a man becomes Christian his family is also 
supposed to be belonging to Christian family. 

Only the adult is baptized. We use magic 
lanterns, gramophone and pictures to collect 
people. The local people say their religion is 
Purkha. We do not say anything about his 
religion. He says that ghost troubles him very 
much and requests us to show a way for betting 
rid of the ghost. I say that there is no ghost in our 
religion and if there is any trouble, Jesus will drive 
away the ghost. The villagers also say that there 
are troubles by others,, e.g., in the form of begar, 
taking away good things without payment or 
paying less. I tell them that unless you are 
educated, these troubles are bound to recur. So 
we educate ding schools also, they are not taught 
properly. If we have our own arrangements for 
schooling, it would be alright. Therefore, we have 
got schools where we treat them properly. 



Regarding finances, we ask them to make their 
own arrangements. If they do not do it, we 
arrange it. We do not charge interest and there is 
also no time-limit for repayment. We help the non- 
Christians also, but not so much. No land has 
been donated to us by any Uraon so far.. There is 
lot of trouble to our Pracharaks in their work. 
Hindus form a meeting and oppose us after we 
leave the place. This is our main complaint. I 
have learnt this from my Pracharaks. Hindus do 
not interfere so long as we are having our 
meetings. 

Prabhudas Kashyap, Uraon Christian: Kashyap 
is my gotra. Born Christian. Comes from 
Palamu. I have come here since about three 
years. The name of our mission is British Church 
of Christ. Josi lives here. He is a missionary of 
our church. I get Rs. 53 as pay (43 pay + 10 
allowance). There are rules for promotion. 
Formerly, I was a teacher in Palamu. I was 
getting the same pay there. I have done my 9th 
and teachers’ training course. If a man does 
good work, he is given more work. I am in charge 
of one school and one village. Palamu’s 
headquarters are Bhandaria, 25 miles from here. 
So also Balrampur. Three or four people of 
Marwah had come to Palamu and they said that 
they want a school at their place. Bisram Kujur 
has come to Marwa with two-three teachers. He 
is a pracharak. A school was opened there with 
two or three students. They had brought more 
teachers with the hope that students would come 
from other villages and open schools there also. 
There are schools in three villages now at 
Sahapur, Tirtipara and Karcha. There are six 
villages having schools, and preachers-cum- 
teachers. There are no churches in those 
villages. When we have money we will have our 
church buildings there. Now prayers, etc., are 
offered in somebody’s house. Nawabhandar is 
the headquarters of this church. We are abused 
by Hindus and also beaten. They do not directly 
attack us as Christians. When we try to hold 
meetings, we apprehend that the Hindus would 
not allow us to conduct them. There are three 
border-corden check people. I was arrested and 



asked to show D. C.’s pass to stay in that place or 
also he would thrust the spear. I told him that 
according to the constitution everybody is free to 
propagate his own religion. Naka Sepai simply 
said that I should be harrassed because I was a 
Christian. I was blamed for smuggling 15 seers of 
rice. I was prosecuted. The Judgment is out now 
and they have been acquitted. We were also 
threatened by the Naka Munshi not to open 
school. We were also troubled when we 
attempted to dig a well for the use of the public in 
Deepan Uraon’s field. Patwari said that was on 
the road and he harrassed us. We have dug the 
well in spite of patwari’s o position and nothing 
has happened. Four persons were prosecuted by 
the Naka Sepoy out of 35 Christians. There is a 
school in the village. I do not know whether it 
belongs to Janapada or Tribal Welfare Dept. 

Basu Toppo Uraon of Marwah Jodhpur of 
Roman Mission. - A field was given to him by 
gaonthia. It was supposed to have been haunted 
by ghosts and nobody cultivated it. I brought it 
under cultivation. The gaonthia wants the land 
back from me now. I paid him rent of Rs. 2-8-0 
per year. I had to face difficulties in cultivating the 
land. My buffaloes died one year. 

One non-Christian complained that gaonthia gave 
land to a Christian instead of giving it to him 
though he is a tribal. 


DHORPUR 

The 12th June. 1954. 


Attendance-300] 


[Villages-36 




Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Names (if legible) and 
number of signatories, 
place, etc. 

(1) 

(2) 

John Lakra, 
Catholic Priest, 
Catholic 

Ashram, 

Pathora. 

There is no forcible 
conversion. Quotes nine 
cases of harassment to 
Christians. 

Dhannuram 
Uraon, gram 
Jamora, thana 
Dhorpur. 

Christians, say that their 
religion is superior to Hindu 
religion. People can get 
money and land, cheap cloth, 
plough and need not be afraid 
of Government officers, if they 
become Christians. If they do 
not become Christians 
willingly, they will bring more 
men and use force. They are 
going to have their own raj in 
Surguja. 

Chamruram 
Gagoli and 2 
others. 

Christians say that Uraons are 
not Hindus their religion is 
Christianity. They should cut 
off their topknots because 
there is ghost in it. Show 
allurements. If there are any 
cases, money will be sent 
from America. 

Mangaram, 
mouza Batoli 

Do. do. 

10 from Saidihq 

Joseph and Pailus preachers 
have constructed a house on 
grazing land. The matter was 
reported to Tahsildar who 
made enquires and fined two 
preachers. Yet they are there. 

It is requested that these 
pracharaks should be driven 
away before the rains to avoid 
hardship to villagers and their 
cattle. 












Kirwaram and 4 
others from 
Saradih. 

A Christian Pracharak was 
staying in his house for six 
months. He ran away from 
the village without paying his 
rent. He requests that the 
pracharal should be ordered 
to pay the dues. 

22 from mouzi 
Udira, thana 
Dhorpur. 

Christians show allurement of 
money and convert people. 

Tonga Uraon, 
Bhelai 

Complains against Jakhariha 
and Johan that they are 
staying in his house without 
his permission since the last 
four months. They show fear 
of their saheb. 

Sukhna patel 
and 3 others of 
Batwahi. 

Christian pracharak says 
openly that Muslims have got 
Pakistan, Hindus have 
Hindustan, but Christians 
have not got raj of their own. 

Bolo Uraon 

Allurement of Jharkhand is 
shown to villagers and they 
are also threatened that if they 
do not become willingly, they 
will have to become 
compulsorily in Jharkhand. 

Sukhna Panika, 
gram Kanthi 

Michael, a Christian 
pracharak, was sold land for 

Rs. 50. He built a house on 
some other plot of the same 
owner, but he admitted his 
mistake and promised to pay 

Rs. 100 more for the other 
plot. He has not paid the 
amount since then. He 
threatens when money is 
asked for. 












Ramprasad, 
Manki and 

Sawna Dhobi, 
Sakin 

Futherdihari, 

thana 

Ambikapur. 

Had purchased one acre of 
land from Rafik, patwari. The 
Padris say it is their land and 
tractored the land and 
resowed it. Padri shows his 
rifle, for which perhaps he has 
no licence and abuses and 
gives threats. 

M. M. Singh 
and 4 others, 
Dhorpur. 

Tells how and why Oraons are 
mide Christians. Suggests 
remedies such as 
popularization of taccavi, 
distribution of more land to 
needy adiwasis, long-term 
loans to be advanced by co¬ 
operative crop societies and 
foreign relations of 
missionaries should be limited 
as far as possible. 

Ramnathram 

Sakin 

Shahanpur. 

Christians propagate 

Jharkhand. They say uraons 
are originally Christians and 
not Hindus. Threat of forcible 
conversion in Jharkhand also 
given. 

Simon Uraon 
and 3 others 

Simon Uraon, Batwahi, says 
that when he had not become 
Christian he was informed that 
Saheb will rule from America. 


9-20 a.m. 


Attendance-300. (Attendance is slack as the 
cultivation operations have started and it is 
morning time when the people are busy). 
Villages-36 

Dhanuram of Jamora, Uraon: Christians say 
“We don’t treat the Congress Government as 
Government. We don’t care for Government 
officers. If you join us, we will give you 12 yards of 
cloth in one rupee. We will give you salt, plough, 
bullocks and free money. We will have 
Jharkhand Raj within 10 years, when all will be 
converted”. The Christian Pracharak who says 







this is from Patora. They do not tell their real 
names. 

Chamruram of Gagoli, Uraon: The word “Ram” 
is in my name from my very birth. There is 
Roman Mission in Patora. They say that Uraons 
are not Hindus. Gandhi Mahatma has prescribed 
Christian religion for them. There is Bhoot in the 
choti, so we should not keep it. If we get 
converted, ghost cannot trouble us. Money 
allurement is shown. Fagun, Karma, Dashera are 
observed by Uraons. 

John Lakda, Father from Patora: There are 
both Roman and Lutheran Missions in Patora, 
which is 63 miles from Dhorpur. He is under the 
Bishop of Ginabahar, formerly Ranchi. Gumla is 
the nearest centre, in Ranchi from Patora. Came 
to Patora on 8th December 1952 from Mandar (17 
miles west of Ranchi) I am an Uraon born a 
Christian, educated in Ranchi St. John’s School. I 
went to seminary in Ranchi, and was made a 
priest. I worked in Ranchi, Jashpur (Tapkara, 
1943-47), Genpur (1948-50), then to Mandar, 52 
December came to Patora. There is a small 
house having two rooms, in one I live and in the 
other we hold prayers. In May 1952 I was sent by 
the Bishop to this area to have a general look. I 
visited villages on the Ambikapur-Kharsia road, 
Rajpur thana, Lakhanpur, with a view to find out 
whether the people would like to come to 
Christianity or not. They said that you are far 
away. If you come to stay with us and we know 
your ways, we will become Christians. I thought 
there was some hope. I saw in them some sort of 
willingness to become Christians to improve their 
lot. 

They saw what facilities were there for education, 
medical help they were given by Christians, 
paddy bank, etc. I told a good many people that 
the Christians were happy in other places I told 
them that we look to the material welfare of the 
men and not only the soul. I found that the 
people were not educated. They did not know the 
value of schools. A Roman Catholic priest was 
sent to Bania. I did not visit that area, 21st mile on 



the Kharsia road. He has got his own area. My 
Bishop give the areas. Some persons had come 
in 1948-49. Father Vanroy in Ambikapur had 
come prior to my coming, i.e., about 1952 
January. He was in charge. He gave me an idea 
of where I should go. Before I came there were 
five Fathers in Surguja district. 30 Pracharaks 
work under me. I gave a report in writing of my, 
experience. I said that if we go there, there is 
hope. First thing is to make them of our faith, then 
we open schools and afford other facilities. A 
Roman Catholic preacher goes and he asks them 
that lie is a preacher and whether they want to 
keep him. If they want, they give him shelter; he 
lives there. We tell them if you want, we can send 
them to Jashpur or other places. We have got 
Mutual Aid Society to advance money. In all the 
centres in Jashpur there is Mutual aid Society. All 
the members have to contribute. A certain 
amount is fixed. For paddy, we call Dhangola; for 
money, we call bank. We distribute grain on the 
basis of Sawai, V4h extra. With the money 
collected, we give loans to the needy members. 
Interest is given on their money to the members 
out of profit. There is a Munshi for each centre. 
We appeal to the rich persons to deposit their 
money in the bank. They do not give to other 
Societies, because the amount is hardly enough 
for the members. They do not borrow from 
others. Each bungalow has a centre. One Father 
is appointed to advise each bungalow. He 
advises whether money should be given or not; 
they have got byelaws which are followed. In 
times of scarcity, we give for their consumption 
also. The Committee and the members decide 
whether money should he advanced in 
emergencies. Only Christians are members. It is 
advisable not to give to non-Christians. I do not 
get any pay. I get allowance. Rs. 30 is given to 
each Pracharak. A conveyance (motor cycle) is 
given by the Bishop to those Fathers who have to 
tour much. 

Bishop meets all the expenses in connection with 
cars, jeeps, tractors etc. We have got several 
Committees in foreign countries from which 
amount is collected. That is received here and 



spent by the Bishop. Since my coming here, 100 
persons have come to my faith, i.e., they are 
baptized. One-fourth of them are women. If the 
parents embrace Christianity, their minor children 
also get baptized. Adult children are instructed 
and they are baptized independently. There were 
126 Christians before I came here. They came 
from Jashpur to settle down. There was not a 
single local Christian. No material benefit has 
been conferred on these 100 converts. If they 
come in big nos., we can manage for dhangola 
and grain bank. The people who have come from 
Jashpur have settled on lands No help to the 
bank from outside. We do not ask people to 
become Christians because it is blot our work. 
Dhanu is the proper Uraon name. Because now 
they are counting themselves as Hindus, they are 
putting the word ‘Ram’. People receive us very 
well. For half a year, we were peaceful. Then 
gradually communists began to stir the whole 
people. They asked the man who gave the 
shelter, w it was given and the man was 
threatened. I am 40 and I have put in 15 years of 
service. Any priest can become, a Bishop. 

A Lutheran Pastor: We have accepted 
Christianity by studying Bible and we have been 
able to improve our lot in dress, education and 
money. That is the evidence and our 
Experience. I tell people that if they want to share 
our improvement, they are welcome to 
Christianity. Rev. Kirpadan is the head. There 
are six Pracharaks working under me in two 
centres, Catholics are bachelors, Lutherans are 
married. Catholics respect Mary more whereas 
Lutherans respect Isa. There is no conflict 
between the different Christian sects. No cases 
of Lutheran Christians becoming Catholics. He 
was trained in Ranchi. 

Budhu of Parpodi: Pracharaks have entered his 
house forcibly. I am not being paid rent. They 
are friends of Patora Pastor. Nabib Pracharak 
has entered his house (Pastor says this). If he 
does not want to allow we will not remain there. 


Another villager: Lunda of Nowdhia, who is a 



Christian, has taken over the land of this boy 
(pointing out the boy). It is on the border. Since 
five or six years he has taken it. The preacher of 
Lunda appears. 

Preacher of Lunda: I am a Christian of Roman 
Mission. (He is having a chuti). I became a 
Christian willingly. I was not shown any 
inducement. Murti Puja is not required in 
Christianity, therefore, I like it. We are poor 
people and, therefore, we cannot afford it. We 
were told there are Bhoot and other things and 
we have to pay. Government servants take begar 
from us. We were doing begar formerly and do it 
even now. I have a cultivation of one plough. We 
may take loan if required, but they will recover 
interest. 

Each police officer has a confidential diary which 
gives a report of Jharkhand every week. We 
have no instructions to preach politics. We simply 
speak of religion and not politics. We say there is 
God’s raj. You find out his religion and you will 
get it. We need not worry about anything. In 
God’s Raj everybody will have everything. 


SITAPUR 

Tite 12th June 1954. 

Attendance-2,000] [Villages-100. 


Names (if 

Names (if legible) and 

legible) and 

number of signatories, 

number of 

place, etc. 

signatories, 


place, etc. 


(1) 

( 2 ) 









Fulsinha of 
Sontarai 

Flindus are calling bad names 
and spreading scandalous 
reports about missionary 
preachers. 

Narhar Uraon, 
tola Gerapada, 
mouza 

Deogarh, thana 
Sitapur, district 
Surguja. 

Narhar Uraon says that he 
has embraced Christianity 
willingly. Sukhi Ram and Bodi 
Ram Uraons of Surguja with 
their friends threaten people 
that Christians will not get land 
and they will be driven away 
and socially boycotted. 
Christians are called daily at 
patel’s house where they are 
threatened with beating if 
Hinduism is not embraced by 
them. 

Johan Hiralal 
Uraon, Beljora, 
thana Sitapur. 

Father Dalbore promised to 
educate up to Matric. When 
his request to work as 
preacher in Surguja district 
was not complied with, he was 
turned out of school and 
certificate was also denied to 
him. He was converted on the 
inducement that he would be 
given education up to Matric. 
Requests that his certificate 
may be ordered to be given to 
him and facili, ties provided for 
his further education. 

Four Christians 
of Bansazal 

Complains against Mutur 
patwari that he spoke to 
people about religion and 
asked them not to become 
Christians. He also gave 
threats. Four persons are 
willing to give evidence in this 
case. 










Nine Christians 
from Bancya 
Lalitpur, 

Rajapur, 

Baljora, etc. 

People became Christians 
from 1951 willingly for the 
following reasons: (i) To 
improve their lot, (ii) Other 
advaficed Uraors are 

Christians, (iii) No trouble of 
ghost, (iv) No outcasting and 
(v) There is salvation of soul. 

Ten Christians 
of Uraon Jati, 
Leader Catholic 
Majhab. 

Uraons are not Hindus 
because they eat beef and 
pigs. Hindus have started 
prachar. On embracing 
Christianity it is supposed that 
Uraons do not remain 
aboriginals. This is wrong. 

Patel, patwari and janpad 
school teacher preach Hindu 
religion. This should not be 
allowed. 

A Theosphil 
Kujur, 

Churches of 
Christ, Surguja, 
Sontarai and 

15 others. 

Preaching of Christian religion 
going on since Independence. 
Government officers threaten 
Christians and missionaries. 
Converts are asked to 
embrace Hinduism again by 
officers. Hindus are helped by 
Government officers to trouble 
Christians. If this becomes 
intolerable, there will be 
serious trouble one dlay. 

Hindu religion is taught in 
adivasi schools. Partiality in 
Government services. 

Christians do not merely 
convert, but also educate and 
help in development of the 
community. Uraons became 
Christians because of the 
treatment meted out to them 
by Raja Maharajas and 
Zamindars in the past. Uraons 
had their own religion before 
the Hindus or Aryans came to 
Middle Asia or India. They 
worshipped ghosts for 
protection against diseases. 









Christians taught them 
salvation of soul which was 
lacking in their religion and, 
therefore, they embraced that 
religion. Hindus have started 
the move so that different 
castes should quarrel among 
themselves. Since Pakistan 
has been established, there is 
no chance for Hindus to 
quarrel with Musalmans. 
Therefore, they are creating 
troubles with Christians. 
Hindus think that they, alone 
have the right to take part in 
politics. In spite of the Indian 
Constitution, there appears to 
be arbitrary rule in Surguja 
tribal area. According to 
Christian religion, people have 
freedom of conscience and, 
therefore, they are not forcibly 
converted to Christianity but 
they embrace that faith 
willingly. There are several 
religions in the world. 
Therefore, it is not correct to 
say that Hindu religion is the 
only correct religion. All 
religions should have equal 
opportunity to propagate. It 
appears that the policy of 
Surguja district officers is to 
punsih Christians, to beat 
them, and to harass them in 
all possible ways. They are 
also instigating people to put 
up false cases against 
Christians. A criminal case is 
going on in the court of law for 
the last 12 to 13 months and 
there is lot of harassment and 
expenditure in going to court, 
etc. 






Junus Kujur, 
Pracharak 

Eight persons named in the 
application harassed him. 

They did not allow him to drink 
water, answer call of nature 
and move about in the basti. 
They said they had orders of 
Government to do so. 

Ultimately he had to leave the 
place. 

Sheonatha 
from Deogarh 

Became a Christian willingly. 
Sukhi and Badi Uraons with 
four other comrades of theirs 
harassed him and threatened 
to burn his house, not to give 
him water to drink, not to allow 
him to answer call of nature in 
the basti if he did not give up 
Christian religion. 

Premchand 

Kujur, 

Gerapara, 

Deogarh, 

Sitapur, 

Surguja. 

Vide complaint of A. Theosphil 
Kujur above. 

Ischikan Lakda, 
tola Barpada, 
mouza 

Deogarh, thana 
Sitapur, district 
Surguja. 

Sant Bhai (Sukhi and Bodi) 
threatened the house-owner 
asking him to drive away the 
Pracharak from his house and 
other complaints as above. 

Sukhiram, 
Badiram and 
two others. 

Allurements and threats of 
English Raj shown. In 

Deogarh heavily drunk 
Christians were intending to 
beat non-Christians with sticks. 











Twenty-one 

non-Christians 

Allurements of money and 
such scandalous acts as 
kidnapping girls. Preparing 
ground for Jharkhand 
movement. Two years ago it 
was announced that 
missionaries were willing to 
lend money and several 
adivasis went to Mithwa, 

Pidia, Jamdandi, Bataikela 
and Lipti to register their 
names for loans. 

Five non- 
Christians 

Allurement of money and 
threat of Jharkhand. 

Eight non- 
Christians 

Christian priests want to 
convert non-Christians to their 
faith. They say if they don’t 
become now, they will have to 
become Christians when 
Jharkhand is established. 

Thirty-two non- 
Christians of 
Petla. 

Christian missionaries have 
come to the village since 5 to 

6 months. In the beginning 
they spoke good words to get 
accommodation but later they 
did not go though promised. 

Chandanram 
and 10 other 
non-Christians. 

Preacher settled since one 
year in Mangru’s house. Fie 
speaks of Jharkhand and 
does not recognise Congress 
Raj. 

Five non- 
Christians of 
Jamdhodhi, 
thana Sitapur, 
tahsil 

Ambikapur. 

Preacher came from mouza 
Baneya and offered Rs. 200 
for embracing Christianity, 
which was refused. He 
threatened that all will have to 
become Christians when there 
is Jharkhand or else they, will 
suffer. 












Nathanidas 
patel and 15 
others. 


Three preachers, one each of 
Christ Church Protestant, and 
Catholic, are staying in mouza 
Salainagar since the last three 
years in different houses and 
are converting many people. 
They say if people don’t 
become Christians now, they 
will have to become 
compulsorily when there is 
Jharkhand. 


3-45 p.m. 


Attendance - 2,000. 

Shri Malviya introduced the Committee and the 
Chairman explained its purpose. 

Badiram of Jajga, a janpad councillor: Some 
Christians came to my village. I told them that we 
do not want to become Christians. On this, they 
threatened. We worship Ram and Krishna. The 
Christians say, The Congress Government does 
not give land and wood’. I am a member of 
Janapada. Christians move in numbers and 
abuse me. 

Jangsahay Michael Tirkey of Lalitpur: Roman 
Catholic since the last two years. Parents are 
also Christians. There are in all 100, houses in 
the basti. Patel and patwari say that if people 
become Christians, they will not get land. Patel 
Nanusao also troubles. The Pracharak has come 
from Jashpur. I get an allowance of Rs. 5 per 
mensem as I help the Pracharak. There are 12 
Christian families in the village (on interpellation 
by the people, he says that his parents are dead). 

Lodhi (new name Petros) Uraon: I am a new 

Christian. I have been baptized. My choti is not 
cut. Patwari threatened me saying that if you 
become Christian, your land will be taken away. 





He has land for three ploughs. I have the land 
from the very beginning. My mother is not yet 
converted. Nobody has yet taken the land. 

Sarveshwarnath Kunwar of Sitapur: 

Missionaries kept their agents at three places and 
announced that they will get loan. I had also 
gone to take the loan. I was told that so long as 
you do not become a Christian, you will not get 
loan. This condition was not announced before. 
Alamsahay and Kanwarsahay made the 
announcement. 

Alamsahay of Bitwa: Pediawala Gaotia 
Kanwarsahay asked me to announce that those 
who want loan should be asked to get their 
names registered; I wrote the names of 60 to 70 
persons. Pratapgarh and Sitapur people had 
been there. Those people had been to Pedia. I 
did not get anything for doing the work. The 
Saheb who had come to Pedia (he was a white 
man) said ‘If you become Christians, you will get 
the loan otherwise not’. 

Kathal Mouza People: Inducement of education 
to children. Asked them not to send children to 
Government schools. Christians were given land 
to live first and helped him to steal wood from the 
forest. 

Sukhiram Uraon of Deogarh, cultivator: 

Belongs to Dubki Mission. Christianed two years 
before. Rs. 30 per month pay since the last one 
year. He supports the statements made by others 
that he is threatened. 

Bhandariram, M.L.A.: In Manipur there was a 
Pracharak who was staying in a house, the 
original occupants of which had gone outside the 
village for work. He was asked to vacate by them 
on return, but he declined to vacate. We 
collected people from the villages and asked them 
whether they accepted the religion. The villagers 
flatly refused it. Therefore, the Pracharak was 
asked to quit the village. Father Kirpadani came 
the next day and asked people to keep him for 



some days as he would teach their children. 

Then the Father called me alone after some days 
and told me that he was doing everything for the 
tribal people. I was also told by the Father that 
my tenure of M.L.A. ship was very short as soon 
after the Congress Government was to go, and 
Jharkhand was to be formed. 

One Kurwai: Reported that his wife was 
kidnapped by a Christian. Fie is Rao ‘Bhat’. 
Christians tell him that he should not beg. Fie 
should become a Christian and then he will get 
everything without begging. 

Soma Uraon Christian of Roman Catholic 
Church: Only four representatives have been 
taken to the Nagpur and Delhi Legislatures. More 
representation should have been given to the 
adivasis. 

Previous 


RAIGARH 

The 13th June 1954. 

The Committee held discussions with the Deputy 
Commissioner, District Superintendent of Police, 
and the District Inspector of Schools, Raigarh, in 
the afternoon of the 13th June 1954. 

There were several complaints of non-recognition 
of Christian schools in the district. The District 
Inspector of Schools was requested to send a 
comprehensive note on this subject, together with 
copies of relevant correspondence. 

2. The District Superintendent of. Police gave in 
brief the nature of crimes attributed to Christian 
missionaries. Fie was of the view that Uraon 
community was selected by missionaries for 
conversion because of their poverty and illiteracy. 

(1) In a love affair of a FHindu boy 
and Christian girl, the boy was 




asked to become a Christian and 
he was confined. The case has 
been reported to Government. 

(2) Christians plough down places 
of aboriginal worship, burial 
grounds, and abuse Hindu religion. 

A case is pending against a Father 
of Ambakona for abusing Hindu 
religion. The prosecution was 
made by police station, Sanna. 

(3) The Chief Minister was shown 
black flags in 1948. The District 
Superintendent of Police was asked 
to search the old records as it may 
be required by the Committee. 

(4) A pro forma of criminal cases 
launched was sent. So far two 
cases have ended in conviction and 
three are pending. 

3. The Deputy Commissioner informed the 
Committee that names of students in Christian 
schools are changed. This has come to his notice 
recently. School authorities maintain two 
registers. He read out a report in which a case of 
Gholang was given, where the student’s name 
was changed. All these cases were from Roman 
Catholic Schools. 

Ever since the announcement of Boundary 
Commission, Christians are making an open 
propaganda for Jharkhand. 

The census figures show a very rapid change of 
Christian population. For example, in 1941, there 
were 30 Christians in Jashpur, whereas in 1951, 
there were 9,000. This was the case in other 
places in the district also. 

According to the Father’s letter, dated the 19th 
April 1954, he had baptized a large number of 
people, but they were not shown as such in the 
census figures. He pointed out to the Deputy 



Commissioner that the census enumeration 
system was partial. 

Detailed information and notes on the subject of 
census were decided to be collected from the 
authorities concerned. 

In continuation of the same meeting, Shri V. G. 
Deshpande, Madhya Pradesh General Secretary, 
All-India Hindu Mahasabha, was granted 
interview by the Committee. Shri Deshpande 
wanted to know the procedure and other details 
regarding Committee’s work. He was told that the 
Committee was not generally in favour of 
employment of lawyer by parties, because it was 
not a judicial enquiry, though the Committee had 
not yet decided anything in the matter. Shri 
Deshpande was also informed by the Secretary 
that the complaints received by the Committee 
were open to inspection in the Committee’s office 
in Nagpur. The parties may also take notes, if 
they require them. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 


Next 







DISTRICT RAIPUR 


The 15th July 1954. 

The Christian Missionaries Activities Enquiry 
Committee, Madhya Pradesh, met non-officials of 
Raipur and representatives of Hindus and 
Christians in the Circuit House, Raipur, on the 
15th July 1954, at 8 a.m. 

Deshpande, Pleader, on behalf of the Hindu 
community, stressed the point that due to the 
conversion the converts become anti-national. 

He said that the methods of conversion were also 
wrong. 

Professor Jainarayan Pande narrated the wrong 
methods of conversion. He said that in the 
hospitals the patients were given free treatment 
with the condition that they would become 
Christians after recovery. When a patient is 
confined to bed and has no hopes of recovery, he 
is asked to pray to Christ, the only God, and not 
33 crores of gods as in Hinduism, and He will 
save you. If the patient survives, he thinks, that it 
is Christ who saved him, and thus he is 
converted. 

In the Christian schools, right from the primary 
stage the students are preached the Christian 
religion and at this tender age the boys having no 
knowledge of other religions or even of their own 
Hindu religion become staunch followers of 
Christianity. There is also partiality in these 
institutions though there are no hard and fast 
rules laid down for this. 

In schools, the Christian religion is preached even 
in school hours. 

He also stated that there are four types of 
missionaries working in this area-American, 
Menonites, Roman Catholics and Evangelical. 



Lala Gurudayal (Hindu Mahasabha) also gave 
out the wrong methods of conversion. He said 
that, some months back, a Christian preacher had 
been to Raipur who used to preach that Christ 
can give sons to those who have none, can 
change the sex from girl to a boy and can give 
eyes to those who are blind. Many illiterates used 
to go to him and many people have been 
converted by him. 

He also stated that the Christians, while 
preaching their own religion abuse the Hindu 
religion by saying that Lord Krishna was a thief, 
the water of the Ganges is impure and so on. 

The conversions are also found in the lower 
castes. There is every fear that, if these 
conversions are not checked, there is likely to be 
a move for separate national unit, such as, 
Pakistan. 

Shri Rama Sharma said that the missionaries 
show some allurements for those who would be 
converted into Christianity, such as, free 
education, free medicine, etc. They are also told 
that they would be married to educated girl if they 
are converted into Christianity and their status 
would also be raised. 

Ganorwala said that the institutions in the cities 
by the Christian missionaries are simply eye-wash 
to show that they are doing human service, while 
in the rural areas their aim is different. They try to 
convert the poorer and illiterate classes in great 
numbers. 

One Samuel Mahalan (Christian) said that there 
were about 82 persons in the Leprosy Camp 
opened by the Christian missionary, but as soon 
as it has been taken over by Government they 
have changed their religion and have now 
become Hindus. He could not say definitely, 
whether all of them at the time of admission into 
the Camp were Christians. 

At Raja Talao, three Christian girls were 
converted forcibly into Hindus and were married 



to Hindu boys. 


He also said that the Christian boys are asked to 
do ‘puja’ on Nag Panchami day and also Ganesh 
Puja. 

Vasant Joshi narrated a story in which he said 
that at Basan Kala, a patwari, told him that his 
son was seriously ill who was about six years old. 
When he took the boy to the Christian hospital he 
was asked to pay the treatment charges and, if he 
was not in a position to do that he would be given 
the facility of free treatment on condition that he 
would change his religion. The Patwari, 
therefore, did not admit the boy in the hospital. 

One M.L.A. also said that the Christian are 
successful in their conversions in the lower castes 
due to their poverty and illiteracy. 


CAMP DHAMTARI 
15th July 1954. 

The American Menonite Mission is functioning in 
this area. They have a Leper Home at Shantipur 
about four miles away which accommodates 
about 400 patients suffering from leprosy-both 
males and-female-and children. They have a 
general hospital at Dhamtari, a High School and a 
Normal School for teachers. The population of 
Christians in Dhamtari is reported to be in the 
neighbourhood of 2,000 out of a total population 
of 25,000. The Menonites are pacifists and some 
of the foreigners working in the local institutions 
are doing alternative service in India. These 
institutions receive grants from Government and 
non-Christians are freely admitted. A list of 
suggested topics for moral instruction classes, 
Dhamtari Christian Academy, Dhamtari, is 
attached. 



Abstract of applications received on Tour of 
Raipur district 


The 16the July 1954 


Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Nature of complaint and 
request 

(1) 

(2) 

19 persons 
from Raipur 

Shortly there will be Christians 
raj. Inducement of land, free 
education, training in nursing, 
medical science and 
performance of marriages. 
Christian religion is 
international with financial 
backing from rich foreign 
countries. Prepared to give 
evidence when asked to do so. 

Shrimati 

Minimata, 
Member of 
Parliament, 

Mowa, Post 
Kampa, Raipur. 

Population of scheduled 
castes and scheduled tribes in 
Chhattisgarh is 14 and 12 per 
cent, respectively. They are 
financially unsound, and 
illiterate. As such they fall on 
easy pray to diseases. Their 
caste rules are very strict and 
rigid. Untouchability is 
removed only in law and on 
paper. These circumstances 
compel them to get 
themselves converted to 
Christianity. The Chirstians 
promise them monetary help 
in critical times. One 
prominent satnami has been 
deceived in this manner in 
Kenwaradewari. The 
missioneries generally work in 
places where scheduled 
castes and scheduled tribes 
are in majority. 












Dhamtari 

Shri 

Pandharirao 
Kridatt, Vice- 
President, 
Municipal 
committee, 
Dhamtari, Shri 
Girdharilal, Vice- 
President, 
Janapada 

Sabha, 

Dhamtari, and 
seven others. 

Mennonite Mission active in 
this area. It works in 11 
batches. Besides, they 
employ their 12-schools and 
hospitals for the purpose. 

Paid pracharaks decieve poor 
villagers. They abuse Hindu 
religion. Inducements of free 
education, free medical aid, 
service and performance of 
marriage shown. They have 
summer and winter camps. 

Last camps were in Mothali 
and Maradeo villages, 
respectively. Christains have 
also women pracharaks. 

In Mission schools admissions 
are given to Christians in 
preference to others. Staff 
also appointed from 

Christians. Moral instructions 
or bible is taught in schools as 
in Balodgahan. Same is the 
case with normal school. 

All staff is Christian in 
hospitals. Nurse, 
compounders and also paid 
pracharaks try to convert 
patients to Christian faith. 

Their centre of sincerity is 
America and Americans. 

They create ill feelings against 
Indian nationality. 

They have no regard for 

Hindi. One tailor in Dhamtari 
was asked to change his bill 
to English otherwise it was not 
accepted. 













Mahasamund 

30 persons 
from Mathpora 

Inducements shown. 

Hinduism abused and talk of 
anti-national things. 



Pithora 

Ranjit Kumdr 
Dube, 

Chairman 

Nyaya 

Bhutpurva 

Sarpanch, 

Gram 

Panchayat, 

Patel Pithora, 
Member district 
Congress 
committee and 
executive 
member, tahsil 
Mahasamund, 
and 33 others. 
(Pithora Police 
Station, 
Mahasamund 
tahsil). 

Filthy propaganda by 

Christian pracharaks. 

Converted by making false 
chrges against many innocent 
people. Christians get pay 
from America. Try to create 
illfeelings against non- 
Christian religions and 
national leader. 



Jagdishpur 

Minu Isai 

Forced to sell land by threats. 
Did not get Rs. 250 as 
promised and 1.25 acres of 
land has been forcibly taken 
possession of by Christians. 

Sakharam Patel 
from Rampur 
and.5 others. 

Christians abuse Hindu 
religion and Indian leaders. 
Inducements shown. There is 
danger to peace if Christian 
activities are allowed to 
continue. Will give more 
evidence if and when required. 















Vishnuchiran 
Patel and 8 
others of Baitari. 

Abuse Hinduism and Indian 
leaders. Show inducements. 
The terms used by Christians 
to abuse Hinduism are given. 

20 of Barani. 

Padris harass those who have 
come back to Hinduism. 

11 from 

Talagaon 

There is fear of spread of 
sampradaikata 
(Communalism) as 
pracharaks come from 
Jagdishpur and do prachar. 

17 from Pathrela 

As above. 

29 of Bhikhapali 

As above and inducements of 
land and education. 



Basna 

Awadhnarayan 
and 47 others 
Basna. 

Work of pracharaks goes on 
round about Basna and in 
mission hospitals. Public 
annoyed at the way of 
prachar. Abuse Hindu Gods 
and leaders and create 
feelings of hatred 
(Sampradayikata). 

Inducements shown and 
advantage taken of poverty, 
illiteracy, ignorance, etc. 

Threats are given to those 
who embrace Hinduism again. 

38 from 
Dhabhakhar 

Abuse Hindu religion and 
spread sampradayikta. 

38 from 
Dhabhakhar 
Unsigned 
(Table giving 
comparison 
between 
Christians and 
Hindu 

hoardings run 
by Christians.). 

Abuse Hindu religion and 
spread sampradayikta. 

Building is weather proof for 
Christians. For others it is bad 
in summer and rains. More 
space per student in Christian 
hostel. Christian students are 
free; others charged Re. 1. 
There is light in front of 

Christian hostel; for non- 
Christians there is no light in 
front of the hostel. Compound 
for Christian hostel, whereas 


















no compound for non- 
Christian hostel even though 
things are often stolen, away 
from there. Servants 
appointed in Christian 
students hostel; boys 
themselves have to work in 
non-Christian hostel. 

Medicine supplied to each 
student in Christian hostel and 
no charges are taken for 
major treatments. No 
medicine arrangements for 
non-Christians and charges 
are taken for major treatments 
when boys are ill. 

Gunonidhipal 
and 23 other 
Christians of 
Jagdishpur. 

Complain against Dr. Dester 
and Sevabhavan. Amount 
charged for lorries and Jeeps 
of Sevabhavan and used for 
purposes other than those for 
which they are meant. The 
people have been kept in 
misery by teaching them 
habits of costly living. 

Complaint against American 
missionaries. Their 
missionary conference is 
separate. Their budget is not 
made known to public. 



Mahasamund 

The 18th July 1954. 

Gajadharprasad 
Pande, Janpad 
Sabha, 

Mahasamund. 

Makes the following 
suggestions:- 

(1) All converts write Indian 
names also. 

(2) No religious instructions to 
be allowed in schools. 

(3) All foreigners should be 
asked to work under the 
leadership of Indian National 
Church and passports should 
be given to persons 
recommended by the Indian 
National Church. 










Shri S. Sen, 
Pleader 

Experience of school days:- 
Study of Bible and Sunday 
schools was compulsory in 
mission school. Nationalist 
outlook was tabooed. 

Created pro-American 
ideology by profuse use of 
their wealth. 

Nakul Pradhan 
Mantri. Jila 
President, Akhil 
Bharatiya 

Satnami 

Mahasabha. 

Tahail 

Mahasabha 
Satnami Samaj 
and Indradeo 
Tandon. 

Satnamis are converted 
because in spite of ex- 
Government rules they are 
not treated properly by caste 
Hindus. Government should 
do everything to better their 
conditions of life and remove 
the differences. This will stop 
conversion. 

Jayashanker 
Sharma and 16 
other residents 
of Mahasamund. 

Prachar was done formerly in 
scheduled castes only. Now 
they do it openly everywhere. 
Call bad names to Hinduism. 
Say that English Raj was 
better. Instigate people to 
become Christians in large 
numbers and demand 

Christian Raj as Nagas and 

Jhar Khand Congress 
Government has done no 
good to you. Prayers are 
compulsory in St. Thomas 
Hospital. After prayers, 
lecture calling bad names to 
Hindu Gods. They use Red 
Cross, but charge money for 
services rendered. They aim 
at anti-national propaganda. 









Krishnakumar 

Shukla, 

Deokinandan 

and 

Chandrabhan 

Agrawal. 

A case of Khallari village is 
quoted. Doctor of Thomas 
Hospital comes with certain 
persons to villages and calls 
bad names to Hindu Gods 
and says that if they become 
Christians, they will get 
everything. We receive plenty 
of foreign aid. They blame 
idol worshippers. A 
compounder of Thomas 

Hospital came to bazar to 
make propaganda of his 
religion. 

Amarnath, a 
resident of 

Simga. 

Cattle are slaughtered, their 
flesh eaten and skin sold by 
persons at Ganeshpur. It is 
likely that stray cattle are also 
slaughtered. Seven persons 
mentioned as witnesses and 
seven as the culprits. 

Seven from 
Simga 

Abuse and call bad names to 
Hinduism. Conversion 
through hospital and schools. 
Government should take over 
these institutions. 


RAIPUR 

The 16th July 1954. 

In the interview with officials on 16th July 1954 at 
Raipur Circuit House, the following information 
was supplied by the officials present in reply to 
questions put to them. 

Mission schools are self-sufficient. They receive 
grants from Government. Discrimination in 
appointment of staff may have been shown in 
Christian schools. Mrs. Raje went into the text¬ 
books on morality prescribed in Christian schools, 
but she did not find anything contrary to rules in 
them. Bible classes are held before the school 







hours. In schools there are no Bible classes, but 
prayers before the studies begin. All Christian 
schools are recognised. In the form of admission 
it is stated ‘I agree to abide by the rules’ and 
guardians sign the agreement without knowing 
what it is. This is one of the ways of conversion 
unconsciously. It was considered desirable that 
the authorities concerned should do checking of 
these forms in their regular inspections, though 
there are no complaints in the matter. There are 
1,053 primary schools in three districts, out of 
which 12 are managed by Christians. There is 
one Mission middle school and the rest are 20 in 
number. 

There is no complaint about hostility against each 
other. 

There are no complaints about admission of 
patients to hospitals. The leprosy hospital was 
managed by the Mission authority prior to 1947. 
The Mission has headquarters in London. There 
were 236 patients then-86 Christians and the rest 
non-Christians. Now there are only three 
Christians. A complaint was made by the 
Christians to the Deputy Commissioner, that 
Christians patients were asked to change their 
religion and undue pressure was brought to bear 
on them. An enquiry was made into the matter 
and the patients said that they were willingly 
going back to their own religion, viz. Hinduism. 
There is only one Government leprosy institution, 
two are non-Christian and the rest are managed 
by Missions. Majority of the patients have 
become Christians. There are complaints of 
undue pressure by non-Christian patients. These 
papers may be available in Nagpur. Majority of 
the leper home staff is foreign, even for non¬ 
technical jobs. There were some complaints 
made to the Leprosy Specialist by the patients. 
Government aid is granted at the rate of Rs. 10 
per patient per month. The patients do not make 
complaint because they have to stay in the 
institutions. One Girdharilal, who was in Champa 
Leprosy Home, said at Ghogranala that patients 
from mission leprosy hospitals have come out of 
leprosy homes and settled outside the homes, 



because they do not like to change their religion. 
The grounds for their leaving the Mission leprosy 
homes are disciplinary action, bad treatment, etc. 
This is the case not only in Champoli (Champa?) 
but at other places also. The patients are very 
few Christians there. The whole administration is 
run by mission Gabers. London is their 
headquarter. Mahars, Kahars, Telis and 
Satnamis are generally converted. 

The policy of Catholics is to have as many Indians 
within their fold as possible. 

In a children’s nursery, if the children refused to 
go to church, they are kicked. 

Christians in some tribal areas do not get the 
same concessions as are admissible to 
aboriginals. They do not live like aboriginals, e.g., 
do not observe Karma dance, marriage customs, 
etc. 

In some cases it was noticed that Christians used 
the word ‘invasion’ with a view to assimilate 
people. 


PITHORA 
The 17th July 1954. 

Shri Ramlal Dube and Banarsidas: There are 
many converts in Fulzar State. Inducements are 
shown. In 1942, there were many conversions, 
because there was control on yarn and villagers 
were given yarn by way of inducement. 
Garagharsia caste people are converted on a 
large scale. The missionaries receive financial 
aid from America and other foreign countries. 
There is one supervisor with eight pracharaks 
under him. The conversions are mainly because 
Hindus do not care for the Garagharsias, and 
they are poor and illiterate. There is 
discrimination in Jagdishpur Christian High 




School hostel. There is no fee for Christians, 
whereas for others they charge Rs. 31. There is 
no change in the moral of converts. Ganda and 
Garaghasis do not intermarry even on conversion. 

Shri Obel Wani.- 1 am a Christian by birth. 

Father also a Christian. Grand-father was 
converted perhaps after the famine of 1867, when 
he left Durg district and came to settle in Baloda 
Bazar tahsil. He was appointed to work as a 
pracharak after conversion. The payments are 
made out of Church Fund and Mission Fund. The 
main body is the Chhattisgarh Orissa Church 
Council of the United Church of Northern India 
started by Evangelical Church of America, but 
now it is completely managed by Indians. The 
headquarters of this is in Raipur, and its head is 
Rev. M. D. Wani who lives in Mahasamund. The 
institution does evangelical work and the 
management of church in this area. There are 
three centres in the villages in my charge. 
Pracharaks use certain books. These will be 
handed over to the Tahsildar. (To be obtained 
from the Tahsildar.) We go to a villages, whether 
there are Christians or not, and have open air 
meetings. When a man is suffering, we tell him 
our meaning of death, what Jesus said about 
death and the message of Jesus. In illness, we 
say people should believe in superstition, how 
one should get over the disease etc. The object 
of my preaching is to obey the command of my 
Lord Jesus Christ, and to give new life to a man. 
450 villagers have been living in this village who 
are Christians. I came here in 1947, and have 
converted 25 persons in seven years. I give 
monetary help to Christians, but I have not given 
any help to non-Christians. A man will confess 
what sins he committed and open his heart. This 
is taken as his willingness to embrace 
Christianity. Change of religion is not for a 
position, but it is for a life. There is difference of 
thought regarding going to heaven, etc., among 
the Christians themselves. Converted people live 
better life than their non-Christians brothers. 

They put on clean cloths, go to church, give up 
certain bad habits such as drinking, etc. No 
Christian has been reconverted to Hinduism. 



There is also no trouble from Government 
servants. About financial aid, 75 per cent of the 
money comes from the Mission, mainly 
evangelical mission. Boarding house was built 
with American money. I received Rs. 120 as 
salary plus Rs. 23 as allowances. Rs. 3 is the 
increment. I shall get 150 as the maximum of my 
salary. I can get any higher responsibility, but 
there will be no change in salary. A church elects 
certain members of the church as managing 
members. Even a layman is elected to this post. 
His record of work, character, qualifications are 
also taken into account. We have to retire at the 
age of 55 and we get provident, fund. I contribute 
two annas per rupee and the same amount is 
contributed by the church. I am not a graduate. I 
am a graduate in theology from Jabalpur. When 
parents become Christians, their children also 
come under the Christian fold. 

Moderator.- 1 am B. D. and, therefore, I get Rs. 

10 more as pay. I get the same pay as Mr. Wani. I 
am elected for a term of three years. We are 
servants of the Church and not of missions. All 
Christians are supposed to pay 1 /24th of their 
income. Generally one-tenth is given. 


JAGDISHPUR 
The 17th July 1954. 
Attendence-200 

The Committee visited the school, hospital and 
printing press run by the Mennonites here. In the 
school, they found that the girls were all Christian 
in the class visited by them. It was told that 46 
students were Hindus out of 184 students in the 
classes visited by them. 


In the hospital it was observed that the whole staff 
is Christian. There were sayings of Jesus on 
walls. Patients have to pay fees, irrespective of 


their religion. 


In the printing press, four students were Hindus 
and 4 Christians. It was seen from the books 
printed that literature on Christianity is available at 
Christian Book Depot, Raipur. 

The Chairman at the outset of the meeting 
explained the purpose of the enquiry and assured 
a fair, impartial and open enquiry. 

Shridatt Sharma of Delhi - Schools and 
hospitals are no doubt good, but the object in 
running them has to be noted. There is no 
Government rule that persons should be 
appointed on the staff from a particular 
community only. A boy of Sakra was told that if 
he became Christian, he would be given free 
education, and I can quote many more instances 
and give evidence. In the hospital also, patients 
are asked to pray to Jesus and to go away if they 
do not believe in Jesus. Mahajan Rameshwar’s 
son was admitted to hospital on the payment of 
usual charges viz., Rs. 5, but he was asked to 
quit the same day because I stay with his father. 
Santosh Wari, a teacher of Sakra told him that the 
Christians abuse Hindu Gods like Ram and 
Krishna. I can produce evidence. There were five 
Pracharaks per village. They have been 
preaching since the last 30 years. Only poor and 
innocent are converted. We have no objection if 
they preach, but their methods are objectionable. 

Gunnidhipal, son of Shamsunder of 
Jagdishpur.- A palak, Christian by religion. 

Living in Jagdishpur since the time the mission 
was not in existence in that place. Some persons 
of Kandadongar sold their lands at the instance of 
missionaries and went to Mudidih and now they 
are in a bad state. Good treatment is not given 
by the principal of the school. Eleven persons 
were fined by the panchayat on the false charge 
of making balwa. In 1950 more than one parties 
were created by missionaries. Missionaries were 
asked to give up Christianity. Baptist and 
Mennonites are working here. I belong to Church 



of Christ. (He was degraded on punishment by 
Mennonites). I showed the atyachars of Saraipalli 
people. I am not a paid Pracharak, but I do 
Prachar. 

Tranonidhi Pal - A palak. My brother has not 
given the correct information. Kandadongar 
people were not Christians first. At their request 
we made arrangements for them at Mudidih. 

They wanted to take away the land permanently, 
but missionaries did not allow them to do so and 
therefore they are making this complaint. No 
inducements are shown for conversion. 

Jageshwar of Jagdishpur - A Christian. - 1 
worked for about eight to nine hours under the 
Memsab and went home. Next day I was not 
given work nor my pay. 

Lochankamar - Christian. - We were treated as 
less than dogs, out now missionaries have given 
us life and educated our children. Jakeshwar was 
a chaukidar at Memsab. He committed theft at 
the bungalow and, therefore, he was removed 
from service by Memsab. 

Sundersingh - Christian. -1 was a beggar 
being blind. My mother is also blind. Nobody 
cared for us. Missionaries came to me and they 
took me in their fold. I have got wife, children and 
their education by the favour of missionaries. 

Bishnucharan, Malguzar of Bitori. - Inducement 
of free education, and abuse Hindu religion and 
Gods. No school having higher classes is opened 
b the Christians in his village. Homer Pastors 
brother became Arya Samajist because of internal 
differences. 

John Gordia. - 1 am the first boy in Fulzar and 
Deori houses to be so educated. My parents 
were scheduled caste. During the period of 
famine, missionaries came to this land like God 
and helped us. 



BASNA 


The 17th July 1954. 

Attendance-200. 

Local M.L.A. opened the meeting with his speech, 
and Chairman explained the object of the enquiry. 

Narsingdas: Came from Delhi some eight years 
back. I tell a story of Chandkhuri hospital. We 
were called for prayers, the next day we were 
admitted to the hospital. Same was the case 
when I went there after two years. In front of Seth 
Santlalji’s house, there is a library. When Shridatt 
Sharmaji was taking about eight persons from 
Dhabakhar to Saraipaili for shudhi, Dr. S. Bamwar 
and compounder Yudhistir who were standing at 
the above spot, said that the persons were dogs. 
They would not give them medicine. 

Isabux (Christian): Dr. Dester and his 
Sevabhavan are bogus things. I have been 
troubled by American gang too much. Christians 
cut prohibited trees in forests. My father, who 
was also a Pracharak, reported the matter to Shri 
Sapre, Manager, Court-of-Wards. My father was 
put in custody for some time. Here, there is 
American imperialism. Mr. Hooper and Mr. 
Gardiner may be good. The permits of foreigners 
are renewed every year on 31st October. 
Sevabhavan is a money-making factory. I have 
written Fulzer Charitra. (He is requested to 
present it to the Committee.) I did not get a single 
job for the last 26 to 27 years. When I said that 
Geeta punishes a sinner, the missioners said that 
Jesus pardons sins, and from that day the are 
hostile towards me. Dr. H. E. Dester, St. Moyar, 

J. R. Drakeyson, Dr. Bawan will renew their 
permits in October this year, because they have 
to do so every year. Their permits should not be 
renewed by Government and they should be 
asked to go back to their countries. 




In Mohadi, Champa, Janjgir, Korba and 
Jagdishpur, there is a committee and they have 
got their own rules and laws about grave-yard, 
etc. There are Christian funds, such as, Pastor 
Fund, Poor Fund, Conversion Fund, Widow 
Fund. There is no account about this. Money 
comes from America. I have moved in missionary 
melas. They tell lies. They are mad after luxury. 
They will prove worse than the British. Mennonite 
is a gang. They earn about Rs. 30 per day in the 
hospital. (To get a report from Deputy 
Commissioner about foreign missionaries in the 
district.) Dr. Dester is here since the last 25 
years. Inducements of free education, advantage 
of ignorance are used for conversion. This is a 
denominational church. The Pracharaks get their 
pay, food, clothing, children allowance, etc., I 
have never worked for the mission. I have worked 
for the Church of England for three years in 
Benares. There are 280 churches all over the 
world. I belong to the Disciple of Christ Church. 
There are seven branches in Madhya Pradesh. 
They are Evangelical, Disciple of Christ, 
Mennonite, Payadhoona, Mennonite Chhirkal 
Swedish at Sagar, Church of Scotland, Holmer’s 
Association and Roman Catholics. In Chhirka, 
only water is sprinkled on adults and blessings 
are given to children. There is Bible teaching 
prior to this ceremony. There was robbery in my 
house three times and I have reason to believe 
that it was done by doctor’s men. There is no 
account of American money. The Indian Christian 
Association Branch has not been allowed to be 
formed in Fulzer. 

Kishori Mohandas: In Gidhli, Tulsiram Mandir’s 
pujari, by name Mukteswar Panda, patwari of 
Tosgaon, thana Basna, was shown inducement of 
Rs. 2,000. She is the wife of a boy from Amapai. 
He is a patwari in Bilaspur district, perhaps in 
Janjgir. He was taken to other place. He was not 
given the money, but he was told that when his 
wife was converted, he would get the money. 
When he took his wife and got her converted, he 
was given the money. Basudeoji Mishra. He has 
made a complaint about this to the Jabalpur 
Congress Bhavan. This is a case of 1953. 



Inducement of peppermint, new dhoti, is also 
shown for conversion. I am a scout. Mr. Thisan, 
Principal of Jagdishpur School, said that your 
boys are coming here not to take education but to 
make agitation and he refused them admission. 

Yudhistir Kumar (Christian): I worked in 
Jagdishpur Hospital for the last 16 years. People 
came for bhajan willingly. They are not brought 
by force. Contradicts the statements made 
against Dr. Dester. Now, I am not a compounder 
there. I had a quarrel with the doctor, because I 
gave an injection without his permission. Some 
Hindus said, that the Christian religion is a religion 
of ‘Vaishya’s santan’; and I, therefore, spoke to 
them (as stated above). I did not call them dogs. I 
called them dog-like. There is facility given to 
Christians in hospitals that less fee is charged to 
them. 

Surajbhan Gupta: In Vikhapali, there is a pastor. 
He gives loan and does prachar. Jagdishpur men 
go there. Rushi, a Harijan, has been reconverted 
to Hinduism. He has been told that, if you 
become Christian again, we will not demand 
money from you. Rs. 30 recovered from him. 
Rushi was advanced loan. He was never asked to 
repay it (Rs. 45). When he became Hindu again, 
demand was made from him. 

Benjamin (Christian): Bible is taught in mission 
schools, but Hindu boys are not compelled to 
become Christians. I am a pracharak of 
Jharbhandh. There are three villages in my 
charge and 36 pracharaks in my circle. I get a 
pay of Rs. 41 and dearness allowance of Rs. 11. 
Wherever we have got churches, there is a 
pracharak for 2 to 3 villages. We tell truth to the 
non-Christians, but we do not compel them. The 
object of my preaching is to meet Jesus and I 
have got good company thereby, i.e., dharma. 
There are no schools in charge. There are 36 
Pracharaks in one circle, i.e., two police thanas. I 
am a Mennonite. Pay is given according to 
seniority and qualifications. Minimum is Rs. 35 to 
Rs. 40. My place of birth is Ichapur near Saripali. I 



became Pracharak after two years of my passing 
matric. Before that I was a teacher in Janapad 
School. There I was getting Rs. 50. I am a born 
Christian. Eprian was my predecessor. He is 
even now a Pracharak. He is in charge of only 
one big village having 50 Christians. In my three 
villages there are 24 Christians. There are now 
new converts. 150 persons have been converted 
to Christianity in my circle during the last few 
years. 

Bhagwanprasad Hota: I was a student of 
Jagdishpur High School. Religious books were 
given to patients and doctors expected the 
patients to be reading them when they paid 
visits. Doctors abused even Hindu religion. Mr. 
Harry, a Pracharak of Gwalior, had been there. 

He called bad names to Hindu religion. There is 
devotion (prayers) in schools. This is a matter of 
1951. I was not compelled to attend devotion, but 
as a school rule I had to go. Attendance is taken 
in class and then boys are asked to go to prayer 

Isabux: Expressed fear of revenge. 

Tarachand of Basna: Complains against doctors 
of Jagdishpur. 

Joseph Ganda of Jagdishpur: Contradicts the 
allegations made against Sevabhavan. 
Bhagyawati of Rusda, a patient of small-pox, has, 
been given complete help. 

Miss Danwar (Indian Christian): Born in 
Champa in Bilaspur district. Mission did not give 
any help to me and my eight brothers for 
education. Bharat Darpan gives history of 
Christians. Padris did not come from Europe 
America. I do not be g to any church. I am a 
member of the Indian Council of Church. My own 
men do not appreciate my work because I do not 
belong to any particular church. The Christians 
perhaps think that I come in their way and 
therefore they do not appreciate my work. 


The Chairman thanked the audience and 



requested them to maintain brotherly relations 
irrespective of their caste or religion. 


MAHASAMUND 
The 18th July 1954. 

Hiralal Agrawal, Janpad Councillor: Sermons 
from Bible are given in Dr. Samuel’s private 
dispensary, some of which are offensive to idol 
worshippers. 

Jatashankar Sharma: Criticises Samuel’s 
hospital. Red Cross is prominently displayed. 
Patients are required to offer prayers. They 
abuse Hindu Gods. Speeches are delivered in 
bazars that boys are cured by becoming 
Christians and die by remaining Hindus. I have 
heard this by my own ears and reported the 
matter to police. Inducements shown. Antinational 
prachar is done. Instigated to combine and 
demand Isaistan. Dr. Samuel is here since the 
last five years. I cannot say how many persons 
have been converted during this period. 

Christians had taken about 20 persons to Birkon 
for conversion. When we got the news, we went 
there and explained to the persons concerned. 
They did not thereupon become Christians. Much 
amount is being received and many pracharakas 
are given amounts since the last two years. Dr. 
Samuel’s quotation from the Revelation. It is just 
one verse.” 

""[a S>a[m{H$ml Am;a Aodfdmog'ml Am;a 
oKZmjZml Amja IwZr'ml Amja To A Mmna'ml 
Amja Q>m{ Yhml Amja _yoV©[yOH$ml Amja 
PyQ>ml H$m A mJ Cg Prb J o_b{ Jm Om{ AmJ 
Amja J§YH$ g{ ObVrhj." 

Dr. Samuel: We preach in the hostel, in the bazar 
and in villages, but we do not preach 
compulsorily. I have no certificate giving me 
exemption of excise duty. 




Shri Mani (Moderator): Nobody has complained 
that my Prachar is offensive. (A report was made 
about this to police.) Khalari bazar case is that my 
Pracharak in Bhorgaon was taken out of his 
house by the Seth’s son and I reported the matter 
to police. Hindus have not raised any objection 
except this time to Christian preaching. Hindus 
have given a report to cover up my report. No 
conversion in the last three years since the time I 
have come. 

Dr. Samuel (in continuation of what already 
stated): Idolatry is condemned in Bible. We 
Christians do not worship images. As a Christian 
we do propaganda of our religion. It is listed 
among the sins given in the Bible. I have nothing 
to do with politics. I do not make any statements 
in the bazar. 

Deonath Sastri of Bhoring: My wife was 
kidnapped by a Christian. There is no trace of 
her. She was taken in the night at 12 o’clock in 
my absence. M. D. M. Singh took her away. The 
matter has been reported to police. It is two year 
old. She had ornaments on her person. An 
abortion was done by Singh. 

Shri Mani: M. D. M. Singh used to do prachar 
before I came here. He made an Akhil Bhartiya 
Satnami Sangh and, therefore, when I came here 
he was dismissed by our body. He kidnapped the 
wife of Deonath and, therefore, he was 
excommunicated. There is one other Pracharak 
who also did similarly. He got entangled with one 
Christian girl. He was also excommunicated. 

Very often we are duped in cases of conversion. 
People come for other than religious motive. 
Therefore, we have made a rule that we will see 
his life for two years, whether he comes to the 
church, whether he pays his contribution and 
whether he is honest. 

Chandrapal of Sakra: A bachha was found near 
the shop of a darji. The Darji was influenced by 
Christians and he was made to keep the bachha 



and his mother who was a Christian. This is one 
year old incident. 

The people present said that they had no 
objection if anybody embraced Christianity by 
conviction. 

Local M. L. A.: The act of Dr. Samuel is bad from 
the profession point of view. The doctor himself 
beats drum and makes prachar of his religion. 

The doctor should not do this. If there is any 
unrest, the responsibility will be of the doctor. 
There is every possibility of unrest if Christians 
continue their activities. 

Shri Mani: I was appointed by the Chhattisgarh 
National Church Council. I am the President at 
present. When I was appointed there was some 
other president. Had I been a servant of the 
mission. I would have got pay as 
Gurbachansingh. He receives a pay of Rs. 515 
per mensem from the Evangelical Mission. 

Shri Sen, Pleader: Gurbachansingh is a pro- 
American person. American money is being 
flowed into India. A national-minded man like Shri 
Mani was not given the opportunity of going to 
America, but Gurbachansingh was selected 
because he is pro-American. 

Shri Mani: Missionaries wanted that I should 
serve them. But I do not want to serve them. I 
want to serve Church. 

Chairman thanked the audience and informed 
them that this is preliminary, and we will record 
evidence after some months. 


SIMGA 


The 19th July 1954. 


Attendance-100. 


Chakrapani Shukla, M.L.A., of Baloda Bazar, 
and Chairman, Janpad Sabha: A man from 
mouza Khandwa, by name Badhai Satnami 
Sukhadeo, went to get himself treated for leprosy 
(Kod). Pracharaks went there from Simga and 
told him that he should get his family converted. 
He was prepared to get converted alone. But 
they insisted on the family's conversion. Simon 
Pastor and other five persons were responsible 
for this prachar. 

Sitaram of Simga: When I took my daughter-in- 
law for delivery to Tilda hospital, I learnt there that 
people were told to become Christians. I am 
afraid that by saying such things they will not care 
for me from next time. 

Narsoba Bhonsle: Manglue Kewat of Simga was 
taken to Bisrampur in service. He was ill. He was 
converted taking advantage of his illness. This 
was seven years ago. Six to seven women tried 
to make prachar here, but they were not 
successful, because in 1940 it was experienced in 
Bisrampur that Christians were not helped by 
Padris when there was famine. 

It was told that there are no Christians in Simga 
proper. 

The Chairman concluded the meeting by advising 
the people to live peacefully and in co-operation. 


BISRAMPUR 
The 19th July 1954. 

Persons from Bhatapara also present. Bhatapara 
11 miles from Bisrampur. 

C. R. Lodge, headmaster of local high school: 

There is a primary school and a clinic (leper) 


here. There are 110 lepers, out of whom two are 
Christians. This was formerly a mission village. 
There was only forest. Now 1800 is the population 
and majority of them are Christians. Non- 
Christians live on the border of the village. There 
is no conversion during the last four or five years. 
All are born Christians here. No responsible 
missionary posted here at present. Marwari, 
Lohar, Raut and Kewats live here. Christians do 
cultivation also. This is the first mission station 
established in Chhattisgarh in 1868. This was 
started as a sort of rest camp. There is only one 
pastor by name R. N. Jacob. I was educated in 
Jhansi in American institution, was teacher in St. 
Paul’s at Raipur. My pay at present is Rs. 165 
per mensem. Regarding school fees, I have to 
give an account to Government. All have to pay 
fees of Rs. 2-14-0. Those who are poor and 
whose parents are members of Church (40 out of 
60) get their fees paid by the Church. There are 
60 per cent non-Christians in freeships given 
under Government rules. We have religious 
teaching in the school outside school hours and it 
is optional. We have taken written statements 
from the guardians of pupils. Six annas are taken 
from all, because it is games fee. All are given 
books free and we collect Rs. 3 as rent of the 
books per year. There are five teachers in middle 
and eight in primary schools. XII are Christians. 
There are cases of boys and girls going out for 
higher education from this place. There are three 
non-Christian students who do not attend bible 
classes. 

Chiranjilal Marwari: There is a propaganda 
going on here that Congress has been given Raj 
for 10 years and British Government will come 
after that. 

Balbadprasad Shukla, M.L.A., from Bhatapara: 

Both the primary and the middle school are 
Government aided. All staff is Christian. Christian 
boys have to pay Re. 0-6-0 and non-Christians 
have to pay Rs. 2-14-0 in middle school. No fees 
in primary. Freeships are given only to Christian 
boys. In Baitalpur there is a dispensary. It was 
closed for two years for want of a doctor. No 



Previous 


doctor was appointed because Christian doctor 
was not available for service. In meetings held by 
missionaries, no time is allowed for other (non- 
Christians) to make any speech. In Mungeli 
tahsil, Ratiram’s son has been converted to 
Christianity in Kewatdabri mouza (he has been 
request to send the matter in writing). 

Ganpatrao Naidu of Bhatapara: Cows are 
slaughtered in Ganeshpur near Bisrampur. There 
is no evidence. But it is suspected that this is 
done by Christians. A cow has been slaughtered 
today in Marrakona. Bible period should not be 
allowed even outside school hours. 

Hariram Agrawal of Bhatapara: I had taken my 
mother to Tilda Hospital before three years. 

There five to seven girls used to come in the 
afternoon between 12 and 3 and they brought 
pictures with them of Ram, Krishna and Jesus. 
They would keep picture of Krishna and say that 
he was Badmash, Ram was disobedient; and 
because these Gods of Hindus are sinners 
themselves, Hindu dharma cannot give salvation 
from sin. They would then produce Jesus’s 
picture and say that he would give salvation from 
sin. He sacrificed his life for that. This was done 
in General Ward where there were about 50 
patients. I do not recollect the names, but I shall 
be able to identify the girls. At Bhagela, a Hindu 
boy saw a dream that he could become Christian 
and marry a Christian girl. He married the girl by 
conversion. 

Bajirao Niru, M.L.A., Bhatapara: There was a 
quarrel with Macha Bhat. He was converted to 
Christianity by saying that his quarrel will be 
settled if he became a Christian. A pamphlet has 
been printer and distributed. It is mentioned in 
the pamphlet that Padri has come by crossing 
seven seas for the benefit of people. I will send 
the book to the Committee. 


Reverend Gurbachansingh: Dr. Gulhati was a 
Hindu doctor at Tilda. Private practice is not 
allowed in mission hospitals, and, therefore, no 



one is willing to accept the job. Pastors do not 
say that Congress raj is for 10 years. This may 
be the loose talk in village people and pastors 
have nothing to do with this. In the Christian Mela 
no one is allowed to speak, because it is a 
Chhattisgarh Christian Mela for Aradhana, and it 
has been accepted by Government as a fair. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 


Next 









DISTRICT BILASPUR 


The 19th July 1954. 

Abstract of applications received on tour 


Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Nature of complaint and 
request 

(1) 

(2) 

Shri S. P. 

Konher, Tilak 
nagar, Bilaspur. 

Activities of Christians are anti¬ 
national. Hindi songs in 

English style, English 
manners, translation of bible 
in faulty Hindi. Non-Christians 
given inferior treatment. Bible 
classes compulsory. 

Chhabaldas s/o 
Ottanmal, 

Sindhi Colony, 

D. 14, Bilaspur. 

A sufferer of epileptic fits. 

Does not want help from 
mission. Requests 
maintenance allowance or 
compensation of his verified 
claims. 

Uditnarayan 
Mishra, P. 0. 
Pendra, Ex- 
Teacher. 

After 20 years, removed from 
service. When requested to 
send for training, was 
informed that mission does 
not allow non-Christians to be 
sent for training. Gita and 
Ramayana teaching was done 
by me as remarked by Shri 
Mehta, D. 1. S. Therefore 1 
was removed from service. 
Government permission not 
taken for removing me. 1 may 
be ordered to be reinstated in 
service. 










Nilkanth 
Krishnarao 
Diggraskar, 
Pradhan, Arya 
Samaj, Bilaspur 
City. 

Six examples given of how 
advantage is taken of 
miserable, ignorant and poor 
people for conversion. Also 
suggests some remedies for 
solving the problem. 

Bajrang Prasad 
Muraraka, L. M. 
P., Private 
Medical 
Practitioner, 
Sadar Bazar, 
Bilasput, M. P. 

Help received by them from 
America. Four missions, viz. 
Disciples Christ Mission, 

Church of Christ Mission, 
Evangelical Mission, 

Mennonite Mission, working in 
the district with centres at 
Takhatpur, Jarhagaon, 

Mungeli, Fastarpur, Setganga, 
Pendra, Champa, Paraghat 
and Baitaipur. Baptisma 
register, Books, school or 
boarding house register, loan 
register of Mrs. Plad and 
Makgebura of Champa, 
Jarhagaon, Baitaipur and of 
other schools should be seen 
by the committee itself. 
Arbitration proceedings of 

1946 from Baitaipur by Shri 
Khistic E.-A. C., should be 
scrutinised. Some remedies 
to check their activities also 
suggested. 

Trimbak Yadeo 

Dehankar, 

Advocate, 

Tilaknagar, 

Bilaspur. 

Christians have employed the 
methods of inducement, 
tyranny and show of authority 
for conversion purposes. They 
have helped foreigners to rule 
our country, and have created 
a feeling of inferiority complex 
and internal differences. 
Suggests non-entry of foreign 
missionaries and the despatch 
of existing persons from India. 
Also Indian control over 
Christian funds and activities. 









Shri 

Ramacharan 

Rai, President, 

M. C., Bilaspur 
and other 
citizens. 

Conversion through religious 
preachings, political means 
and social disunity. Methods 
are through hospitals, hatred 
of other religious service 
allurements and. financial aid 
for litigation. Indian culture is 
being destroyed and foreign 
culture spread in various ways 
Replies given to allegations 
made by Christians. Some 
suggestions also given for 
checking missionary activities. 

Shri M. K. 

Chitale, Pleader 

Missionaries offer temptations 
of various nature. No foreign 
missionary should be allowed 
to come to India hereafter. 

They should not be allowed to 
open institutions of social 
service. Existing institutions 
should be taken over by 
Government. Has not much 
grievance against Indian 
Christians. 

Shri C. M. 
Otalwar, 
Advocate, Shri 
Ramkrishna 
Pande, Editor 
Parakram, and 
five others. 

Mission institutions should not 
be given Government grants. 
Missionaries are taking active 
part in politics. They get 
money from America. Some 
suggestions are made to 
Government regarding how 
missionary activities should be 
checked. (One application 
from Padmabai Thakur also 
attached wherein she 
complains that she was 
forcibly converted and married 
to a Christian. She has been 
deprived of her land tnd 
earnings.). 


BILASPUR 







The 19th July 1954. 


Chairman introduced the members of the 
committee and explained the purpose of the 
enquiry and the committee’s visit. 

Shri Verma, Advocate: Missionaries do three 
things mainly-conversion by inducements of 
treatment in hospital, financial help, and taking 
advantage of the conditions of ignorant people, 
scheduled caste people. Dr. Sukhanandonji has 
been converted and he has become successful 
because of his conversion and the facilities given 
by Christians. Expression of wealth is shown in 
Dr. Sukhanandanji. It is not an expression of 
religion. Stress is laid on female education cause 
thereby anti-national culture is spread in the 
homes. When there was English Raj, there was 
worship of English. Now that they have gone, the 
missions worship American Government. The 
missions in this district are all American. ‘When 
you were hungry, America used to give food and 
also now it gives money for development of your 
country’, say the missionaries. They also say that 
Indian leaders don t accept arms, otherwise 
Indians could also have been armed as 
Pakistanis. I have certain letters published by the 
Gass Memorial of Raipur. I will give the issue to 
the committee. In that issue it is asked where 
Christians should go ultimately? There must be a 
Raj of their own. Where there is majority ff them 
in the neighbouring districts, they openly demand 
a Raj for themselves. They do all this with the 
financial support received by them from America. 
All are Christians in their institutions. In Sawra 
school (Pendra Road), there was a Hindu 
(Brahmin) teacher. He started Ramayana classes 
in the school, because the District Inspector of 
School had made a remark that all should have 
free access to religion they like. 

Shri Mishra: I joined service after passing F.A. in 
1951 when District Inspector, Mr. Mehta, 
remarked that Bible class is not compulsory for all 
and that those who wish to attend Ramayana and 
Geeta, should be given that teaching. Bible was 
compulsory for all. I was removed from service on 



the ground that I was an untrained teacher after 
serving there for 20 years. My juniors were sent 
for training. I will send their names and can also 
identify the persons. When I wrote to the 
authorities that I would file a suit against them, I 
was given Rs. 1,300. I used to teach Hindi, 

History and Geography. 

Shri Maqbul Massih: His work was not 
satisfactory. There were regular reports of his 
coming late to school. 

Miss Shah: I was in the school for four years 
from 1936 to 1940. The teacher was not 
maintaining good discipline. He was kept in the 
school, because the authorities wanted to keep 
some Hindu teacher. 

Shri Verma: A popular school principal of the 
mission school wanted that there should be no 
competitive school in Bilaspur, but the municipal 
committee opened a school. The principal 
created several obstacles in the way of the school 
with the help of the inspecting staff and 
Government officers, who were Europeans. I had 
to go myself to get recognition of the school in 
1942 from Government. 

Shri Ramkrishna Pandye: Arya Dharma Seva 
Sangh opened 10 hospitals and 25 primary 
schools in 1945 with the object of counteracting 
Christian religion and spreading Arya Samaj. Mr. 
Franklin, present D.P.I., issued a secret circular 
saying that no Government officer should inspect 
the schools or hold examinations. I was at the 
same time asked to get the school recognised, 
but I did not care for that as I did not like to get 
myself bound to certain rules of Government. My 
boys could get admission to middle schools on 
their ability being tested by headmasters of the 
schools. This is admissible under the Education 
Manual. 

Trimbakrao, Pleader: The object of missionaries 
in converting people is to destroy their religion, 
and to denationalise them. They also spread the 



spirit of inferiority complex. People became 
Christians during famine times, not by conviction 
but to answer the call of their belly. The motive 
may look religious, but really speaking their 
motive is political. Rajkumari Amrit Kaur was 
brought by local missionaries. A Central Minister 
should not do like this. 

Shri Verma: Miss Elliot, an American, was the 
principal of the Burgess Memorial School in 
1949. She did not grant holiday and observe 15th 
August. Two Hindu girls reported the matter to 
their parents. They informed important persons 
here like Dr. Rai, President of the municipal 
committee. On making a reference to Miss Elliot, 
she replied that their school was governed by the 
American Council. Her reply and papers in this 
connection are available in D.S.E.’s office and the 
school office. This may be a case of 1948 or 
1949. Dr. Roy played a trick and indirectly 
compelled Miss Elliot to take part in the functions 
by declaring a holiday. 

A girl: Through some mistake and 
misunderstanding, the holiday was not declared in 
the morning. But this was declared in the 
evening. All the correspondence is in the school 
and in the Inspector’s office. 

Kashiram Tiwari: My daughter was learning in 
Miss Mahanti’s school. I changed the school to 
Burgess Mission High School. There was non- 
Christian teachers in certain mission schools. 

Rev. H. R. Ferger of Calcutta, Mr. Maqbul Massih 
and Myself were together. American money has 
started denationalising us. American 
missionaries spend money ant Indians do 
prachar. In Marwahi tract a Marwari’s son was ill. 
Doctor demanded Rs. 100, but the missionaries 
helped him. In Takhatpur there was cholera. 
Nobody came to help. The missionaries rendered 
help. 

Ladharam, President, Arya Samaj, Bilaspur: 

There was no Christian in Surguja before 1947. 
Conversions go on with the aid of American 



money. When I was travelling in a lorry, a girl 
spoke that she got saree, sandals and good dress 
on conversion. Her friends were from Baitalpur. 
Nawalram, and Arya Samajist from Sindh, said 
that his wife became ill in 1951. No action was 
taken in the hospital. Missionary hospital gave 
good medicine and she was cured. My wife 
wanted to go to sing bhajan and she asked me, 
but I did not allow her as I did not like it. 

Uttalwar of P.S.P.: Several lakhs of rupees came 
from America within four months. Two lakhs in 
Takhatpur for rural development. This can be 
verified from post offices. When some help was 
asked by others, they were informed that their 
rural development was different. 4 new churches 
have been constructed. In the name of social 
education, huge sums are given. In obstruction 
cases in Takhatpur, water is given. In 
Kewatdandri, Ratiram’s son has been 
Christianed. Money is advanced without interest 
with special attention to satnamis, and advantage 
of their scheduled castes is taken. Christians 
helped Ratiram’s son in litigation, and now he has 
been converted. In Lata also, similar things 
happen. Quarrels are deliberately created and 
litigation is done. In Suman Khetan, Mowhadi and 
Koylani, boys are tempted. Oone of the victims is 
son of Bitandas. His name is Bijhuram and 
another is Ramdin kachhi. 

Rev. Gurbachansingh: Sardar Diwansingh has 
written an article. We have not written any article. 
It has been simply reproduced. My children’s 
names are Panjabis. My name is Panjabi. I will 
send the article to the committee. 

Girls’s School: 250 students in all. Results are 
always more than 90 per cent. There is a hall 
with pictures of Hindu Gods where Hindu girls can 
pray. There are 27 non-christians in the 
boarding. Mostly outside girls reside who are 
Christian. Local girls are almost Hindus. 

Hospital: There is a small church in the hospital. 
Every day prayers are offered before starting 



Work. Those who desire are allowed to attend. 

No patients are taken free. For poor Christian 
patients, church makes payment. Rs. 76,000 is 
the annual expenditure. The hospital is practically 
self-supporting. 4000 is the annual grant from 
church. There are no catholic nurses. 49 nurse 
students. No Hindu nurse students. None have 
come in spite of efforts. Posters on walls from 
bible teachings. All nurse students are 
Christians. No stipend, but very little pocket 
money is given. Books on religions other than 
Christian are in the Nurses library. Dining hall for 
nurse students is in Indian style. 


MUNGELI 
The 20th July 1954. 

Abstract of applications received on tour 


Attendance- 

200] 

[Villages-13 

Names (if 

Nature of complaint and 

legible) and 

request 

number of 


signatories, 


place, etc. 


a) 

(2) 

Sheoprasad 

A letter from Ramju pastor 

Ojha, Mungeli. 

enclosed which shows attitude 


of Christians towards Gandhiji. 










Thakur Dani, 
President, 
Pandariya 
Jansangh 

Mandal and 
other office 
bearers. 

Large-scale conversion took 
place in famine and flood of 
1910. The object is to create 
extra-territorial aligeiance to 
foreign country. Meaning and 
work of Mandli explained. 
Students are brought up under 
the guidance of Americans. 
American missionary is 
always the head of 
department. 

Nandkishore S/ 
o Mathura 

Prasad Tiwari, 
Mungeli. 

My son has been converted 
by allurements of marriage 
and sending to America. 

Residents of 
Mungeli tahsil 
(55 signatures). 

Majority is of satnamis and 
there are no adequate 
communications. Advantage 
is taken of this situation. They 
took advantage of floods of 

1910 and consequent femine. 
Disregard for India and 
affiliation towards America 
created in the minds of 
converts. Missioneries work is 
purely anti-national. 

Ramkrishna 

Pandye, 

Mungeli. 

Mainly complaint against 
hospital. Mobil vans (hospital) 
used to make prachar and 
show allurements. 


MUNGELI 


The 20th July 1954. 

Hospital: A big picture painted, outside India of 
Jesus healing a patient, at the entrance of the 
hospital building. 


Gupta from Jansangh: Gives out a summary of 
what he has stated in his application. Mungeli is 
a centre, where people have been converted in 








the past taking advantage of famines. There are 
American missionaries almost everywhere. There 
are four of them at Mungeli. They say there is 
ghost in the top-knot. Conversion is done through 
inducement. One Jurekha of Seetaldha expired. 
The dead body was not allowed to be taken away 
without paying the amount. Create confidence 
towards America and disregard toward India. 
Christians form a circle by themselves, forming 
their own servants, etc. Christians form a Mandli 
(a sort Church council). Such an atmosphere is 
created that people become Christian. 

Gangaprasad Tiwari of Mungeli: I am a 

Pracharak of Christianity. I became a Christian 
willingly. My father is a Hindu. I became a 
Christian by conviction. I do not receive any pay. 
Two C. I. Ds. were after me in Surguja. God gives 
me money through his men. 

Nandkishore Tiwari: I am 66. This is my only 
son. He was tempted to marry a girl. A girl was 
produced in my presence. These people say that 
since my only son is a Christian, I should also 
become a Christian; but I do not want to change 
my religion at this age and I am proud of my own 
religion. 

A Pracharak: We do not give any inducement of 
money, women, etc. 

Sheoprasad Ojha, Mungeli: A pastor, Sunderlal, 
from a church had sent a, letter to the congress 
committee making certain complaints. On 30th 
January 1949 Gandhiji was called bad names in a 
church. This letter shows disregard of Christians 
towards Gandhiji. 

Massih: Sunderlal is man who does not deserve 
to be kept in service. He has been removed from 
service. I do not know anything about the incident. 

John Massih: Laldin was requested by Sunderlal 
to make prayer for Gandhiji’s soul. Laldin told him 
that he himself was-sinner and therefore, he could 
not pray for Gandhiji. There were reports against 



Sunderlal and therefore he was removed from 
service. 


Ramkrishna Pande: I used to give money to 
Gangaprasad Tiwari. When he goes to Bilaspur, 
he tells people that he is very poor and his 
parents are blind. 


JARHAGAON 
The 20th July 1954. 

Attendance-300. Villages-25 

Bhagawat Prasad: Population of this place is 
about 1,000, out of whom 20 are Christians. 
Pendradi is a mission village nearby. 

Rajendralal, head of the local school: There is 
a primary and a middle school. Both Christians 
and non-Christians learn there. Fee is Rs. 2-6-0 
for everybody. 24 Harijans, 3 aborginals and 52 
non-Christians were in middle school last year. 
Two aboriginals getting Government scholarship; 
one is satnami. Eight students are free. There is 
no full freeship. About 10 people are those whose 
fees are paid by the church. 10-30 to 11 is 
devotional scripture. In all, there are six teachers. 
No non-Christians teacher. I am a born Christian. 
All are trained teachers. Boys from 18 villages 
come here. 

Chairman explained the purpose of the meeting. 

Patel of Kona: There are schools here, but 
nobody has been 'converted from the schools. 

Headmaster: The boarding fee is 16 seer chawal 
or four seer dal. 

Sheoprasad: There is much work of American 
missionaries here. Bible is taught for one hour, 




prayer of Jesus first. All photos of Jesus in the 
school. There are 4,500 Christians here. When 
there is litigation, the parties go to Padris and 
help them on the condition that they become 
Christians. 

Ramjiwan: In Kewatadebri Ratiram’s son became 
Christian. 

Benimadhoji (Ratiram’s son): I have not been 
given any inducement. I have changed my 
religion willingly. I was thinking of doing so since 
the last 15 years. I embraced Christianity on 30 
November 1952. I took baptism openly and I had 
invited important persons for this. I had printed 
about 600 invitations for the purpose. I am 
married. I have four children. My wife’s age may 
be 30 years. I had three children when I became 
Christian. I was baptised by Padri Meghawaram 
in Kewatdebri. He was here for about eight 
years. Before 15 years I got liking for Christianity. 
There was a blind Pracharak in Baitalpur. I 
purchased copy of Bible in Hindi from him. I read 
it and took interest in Christianity. I became 
Christian after three years of the death of my 
father. I had invited 550 persons for baptisma. My 
father’s mahantagiri does not exist now. I had 
printed a small book why I became Christian. I am 
educated up to 4th class. I wrote the book myself 
and got it printed at Jabalpur mission press. I 
distributed copies of the books to Christians only. 
The name of the book is ‘Muze Satnam aur uski 
Budhi Pothi Mil Gai’, (Tahsildar to get the book 
and send copies to the members from the author). 
I am not treated as a Mahant. 


TAKHATPUR 
The 20th July 1954. 


Abstract of applications received on tour 




Attendance- 

500] 

[Villages-15 

Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Nature of complaint and 
request 

(1) 

(2) 

Thirth S/o 
Rampratap 

Inducement of Rs. 100 was 
shown and 1 became a 

Christian, but the promise has 
not been fulfilled. 

Adhin Isai 
Parsinya S/o 
Ramcharan 
Satnami. 

Mugoran promised to give 200 
on conversion, but on 
becoming Christian he did not 
fulfil his promise. 

Dharma and 
Ramprasad 
satnamis, 
Jarhagaon. 

Government aided middle 
school makes partiality in 
Christian and non-Christian 
students and there is prayer of 
Jesus in the school. 

Residents of 
Samdil Mouza 
Lauda, Fulwari, 
Padampur, 
tahsil Mungeli 
residents. 

Inducements of money and 
help from America. Pastors 
come and give inducements to 
become Christains and praise 
America. 

Ramashankar 

Bajpai, 

Takhatpur. 

Am prepared to give evidence 
regarding partiality in 
hospitals, recovery of 2 annas 
from Hindus, no admission to 
Hindus in boarding schools 
and prayers of Jesus and 
abuse of Hindu Gods. 















Tugan Satnami 

Quarrel between malguzars 
and kisans. Kisans informed 
that they would get help if they 
become Christians. We did 
not become Christians. 
Therefore they are annoyed 
with us. They have 
constructed a church over my 
land without my consent. My 
application to the court, was 
dismissed as not proved. It is 
impossible for me to live in the 
village and therefore 1 am 
staying in another village at 
present. 1 request due help. 

Sammu 

Complaint against Mission 
Hospital, Takhatpur, that they 
use it for conversion purposes. 

Illegible 

Partial treament in schools of 
Jarhagaon. Missioneries take 
advantage of Converting 

Indian people like Dr. 
Sukhandan. We understand 
they receive money from 
America and they praise that 
country very much. There 
should be strict control over 
these Institutions. 

Shri S. Maqbul- 
Massih, Co¬ 
ordinator, 
Abundant Life 
Programme, 
Takhatpur, M. 

P. 

No truth in the statement that 
two lakhs have come from 
America to bribe people here. 
Gives a complete idea of the 
abundant life programme of 
adult literacy, economic uplift 
through agriculture and. 
horticulture, public health and 
recreation. 










Christian 

Workers in the 
Takhatpur area. 

Christian missionary activities 
in this area in church, primary 
and middle school, agriculture 
extension centre, hospitals 
and a point four programme of 
adult literacy, public health, 
agricultural uplift and 
recreation. In answer to 
allegations, we state that we 
did not take part in subversive 
activities, political or extra 
religious. We do not bribe. 

Our relations with non- 
Christians are quite cordial. 

We do not believe in making 
allegations and applications 
unnecessarily. Sub-Inspector 
of Police Station, Takhatpur 
harrasses Christians by calling 
them 12 miles and detaining 
them unnecessarily and by 
taking their thumb impressions 
on some paper. 

About 200 
signatures from 
residents of 
Takhatpur. 

Funds received from America 
are utilised for conversion of 
people. Inducements are 
given. Women who have 
quarrels with their husbands 
are converted. Inducements of 
social education, litigation, 
young girls, etc. 

Residents of 
Takhatpur (56 
signatures). 

Methods of conversion and 
working of Takhatpur centre 
given in brief. 10 categories 
of persons converted and how 
they are converted is given in 
a chart attached to the 
application. 


Dr. in charge of St. Luke’s Hospital: The 

hospital was established 16 years back, by the 
Disciples of Christ Church. It is an American 
mission. About a dozen preachers attached to 
this centre. One preacher is in charge of his own 
community in a village. 






Mr. Maqbul Massih: There is a congregation of 
700 spread over about 40 villages. We have 
churches in villages also. Lata Church built about 
12 years ago. Kewatadabri Church built two 
years ago. Third is under construction. There is a 
primary school and a Hindi-English middle school 
at Motimpur. Pendradi has the largest number of 
Christians. It was purchased about 50 years ago 
and is mostly inhabited by Christians. 
Kewatadabri, six miles from here, is another 
village like this, and most of them are born 
Christians. 50:50 is the proportion of Christians 
and non-Christians. About 60 persons are 
converted during the last four years. Perhaps, as 
equal number has gone back too. Ninety-eight 
per cent of the converts have come from 
Satnamis. I have been working in this area for 
the last 20 years. Christians are mostly 
agriculturists. I am a co-ordinator of Adhik Jiwan 
Yojana (Abandant Life Programme). It is four 
point programme in adult literacy, public health, 
agriculture and horticulture help and recreation. 
My wife and I were in United States. We were 
asked by our mission here and the Home Board 
in America to run the programme. Main reason 
for Communism is the conditions under which 
people live. They have this programme in various 
countries. One church in America became 
interested in this. They give money for this. The 
money does not come through post offices. It 
comes through banks. The American church 
undertook to send 10,000 dollars a year or 
roughly Rs. 45,000. Our main church is in 
Jabalpur. This is for Madhya Pradesh. 38,000 
has been used in Takhatpur. We pay salaries to 
our workers out of this fund. They are known as 
Gaonsathis. We get all our material from 
Allahabad Literacy House and from Jamia Milia 
from Delhi. In the library, you will not find a single 
Christian Book. The main interest is building a 
defence against Communism. In recreation, 
workers are provided with volley ball, kabaddi, 
etc. We have over nine villagers active in 12 
villages. We go to the patel and influential 
persons n a village and we tell them that this is 
our programme. In most places the patel himself 
has given a room. We have no non-Christian 



workers. We have got forms for survey, 
certificate, etc. We have a standard by which we 
declare workers. No local contribution has yet 
come. We are not asked for it. We do not 
distribute money, but we give payment of salary. I 
am in charge of the scheme. We have up till now 
engaged Christians. I attended certain seminars 
in America. They have a country agent in each. 
Six weeks is the time of the period of training. 
Matriculate boys get Rs. 40 and dearness 
allowance of Rs. 30 as our teachers. For, 10th 
pass we give Rs. 60. We encourage them to 
study further. Persons are employed while under 
training, and they continue even after that. In all, 
about 25 persons are working on the staff. I do 
not know that will happen after five years when 
American help will he stopped. We hope the 
people under the scheme will be able to carry on 
after five years independent. We were not able to 
give them special training in public health. Dr. 
Donald T. Rice from Damoh is coming here to 
impart instructions in that. He was trained in 
America in public health. The mission board 
which gives the money is the University Christian 
Church in Seattle. We are going to have 
preventive things-instructions on sanitation. Dr. 
Rice will be here one week. He will give 
instructions and practical working, in combating of 
epidemics, hook worm, etc. My wife is in charge 
of literacy. She was principal of a Hindu school in 
Agra for a number of years. We have no 
Communists in our part. I spoke to Deputy 
Commissioner before starting my scheme. We do 
not mix religion with this programme. 

Chairman explained the purpose of the 
Committee and requested the people to live 
peacefully and in co-operation. 

Shri Otalwar: Contradicts statements made by 
Shri Massih. The chief of the mission is not 
Massih, but some Europeans and Americans. 

We have given names of these persons. One 
American woman is in charge of this area. Five 
new churches are being constructed. We have 
given details of them. The Committee should 
inspect Mahajan Fund, Tahkhana, below office 



building. Ornaments are kept in this. Money is 
lent, and when they are unable to pay, they are 
converted. Gold was sold from this Tahkhanan by 
Macforger Padri and it was not recorded in the 
books. He sold gold of the value of Rs. 2,000. 
Armoury may also be kept in Tahkana. Full details 
of the villages, and their roads are kept by these 
foreign missionaries. There is an increase in the 
amount being received from 1950 from America. 
Tourists from America had come here from 1945. 

I do not know whether Takhatpur is a place for 
tourists. Why should tourists come to Lata and 
Kewatadabri. Ratiram's son was promised that 
he would be taken to America, but he wants that 
his wife should also be taken to America. They 
do not want to take her. Persons embracing 
Christianity again come back to Hinduism. This 
shows that they do hot become Christian by 
conviction. In Motimpur they convert people and 
create quarrels. They also influence Government 
officers. The foundation stone of this hospital 
was laid by R. B. Chandorkar and Government 
paid Rs. 10,000 to the hospital. I heard prayers 
myself in the hospital. In Nawapara Mouza Jewra 
there was fire and famine. Mission went there 
and asked those people to become Christian first 
and then they would be given help. Macgowan 
took help with him, but first condition for help was 
conversion. American mission is spreading 
bitterness amongst communities on a large 
scale. You can get enquiries made by C. I. D. of 
the missions working secretly here. 90 per cent of 
the patients are given medicine only if they 
undertake to become Christians. Manglu from 
Tihla was a patient of Garmi. He was asked to 
become Christian and he agreed. After seven 
injections he was asked finally and he became 
Christian, after which he got 8th injection. There 
is 'a hospital here where a family has been 
admitted only on conversion. It is learnt that 
America gives 500 per person converted. 
Tungan’s land has been forcibly taken for church 
in kewatadabri. No Government official or non¬ 
official has been taken in the Abundant Life 
Programme. Work has been started in 18 villages 
and there is a man and a woman in each village. 
Discrimination between Christian and non- 
Christian patients, in regard to medicines which 



have come to them free of taxes. There is also a 
Philadelphia Fund. If a patient does not become 
Christian, he is not so much cared for in the case 
of satnamis and poor persons. Two annas per 
person recovered from non-Christians. One 
family has been converted in Takhatpur recently. 
Grant has been given by Government to 
Motimpur high school and it has not been given to 
the school opened by general public of 
Takhatpur. There are communists in Janjgir and 
Akaltara, but there is no communist in Takhatpur. 
Then why work for fighting them? Christians were 
the best opponents of Congress in Pendra Road 
in Kota constituency. All of them said that they will 
act according to the wishes of Padri. They have 
got a strict discipline. Padri commands them and 
their works. There are about three to four dozen 
Christians in this centre. They should take us on 
their committees, and there should be audit of 
accounts. Government should break the iron 
curtain in Takhatpur. 

Tularam Pracharak: Because Hindus do not get 
good treatment, they become Christians. I tried to 
find out the reasons for calling Satnamis. I 
became a Christian in Lata. I came to Sam Padri, 
and got myself converted. Before getting 
converted, I tried to learn the principles of 
Christianity. I get Rs. 85. as pay. My age is 45. 

Govind of Bhatni: I became Satnami from 
Christianity. I did not get cultivation that was 
promised to me and, therefore, I came back to 
Hinduism again. I changed my name from Masi to 
Masidas. Now, we are allowed to take part in 
religious activities. Formely, they did not allow. 
Satnamis are now using Janava and Chandan 
and there is not so much bad treatment as before. 

Tungan: MacGower has deprived me of my 
house and I was told that, if I became a Christian, 

I could get the land. 

Budhu and Amoldas of Kewatdabri have been 
tempted, of giving beautiful girls. 



Mr. Massih: Moneylending is done from out of 
current fund. I do not know how much about it. 


CHANDKHURI 
The 20th July 1954. 

Abstract of applications received on tour 


Attendance- 

300] 

[Villages-19. 

Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Nature of complaint and 
request 

(1) 

(2) 

A. B. Ratnam, 

P. S., Civil 

Court, Bilaspur. 

Complaints against Shri 

Mohan, Headmaster, M. S. C., 
Mission High School, Bilaspur. 
Prepared to give more 
instances and evidence. 


Attendance-300 

Chairman explained the purpose of the 
committee. 

Jugalkishore Tiwari of Guthia: Teaching of 
Bible in schools and prayers in hospitals as 
methods of conversion. Children not admitted to 
schools if they do not agree to study Bible in 
Baitalpur school. This is a matter of two months. 
Allurement of marriage and service, etc. 
Difference in the rates charged to Christian and 
non-Christian patients. I was ill in this hospital 
before two years. I was charged heavily. 









Dr. Singh: There is one leper hospital, one 
general hospital, a middle and a primary school 
run by the missionaries at Chandkhuri. 

Girdharilal of Narayanpur: Poor lepers are 
treated when they become Christians, otherwise 
not. Now there are not so many Pracharaks. 
There are inducements, but no force. Well-to-do 
persons pay the hospital charges. 

Dr. I. D. Mehtani of leprosy hospital: There is a 
capacity of 733 beds in the hospital; at present 
there are 585 in-patients. There are temporary 
and permanent admission. Highly infectious 
cases are given permanent seats. We do not use 
force for conversion. There is prayer before we 
start our work in the morning. 108 patients are 
Christians 60,000 is the grant per year received 
from Government. Capitation grant is 10 per 
head. Rs. 17-8-0 is given for Government beds. 
There are 60 Government beds. At present about 
42 Government beds are occupied. This year 
there are four cases of conversion of patients 
while in hospital. No partiality in treatment. 
Expenditure per head is Rs. 19-12-0 per month 
this year. Out of this Rs. 10 is given by 
Government since April. We do not take anything 
from patients. In private wards the patients may 
spend anything. Rs. 9-12-0 is spent by the 
mission and Rs. 10 is given by Government. 
London is the headquarter of the mission. Money 
is received quarterly from there. There are about 
30 members on the staff. They are all Christians. 
At the request of individual patients, pastors go to 
them. 

The leper home was visited. It was told that 
church is fundamental. The management is 
under a pastor. One (non-Christian) patient was 
given chloroform or certain operation today. 

When he came to conscience, he was saying ‘Oh 
Jesus, where are you’. 


PENDRA ROAD 




Abstract of applications received on tour 


The 21st July 1954. 
Attendance-200. 


Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Nature of complaint and 
request 

o) 

(2) 

Shri Theble 
Uraon, ex-M.P., 
Ranchi (Bihar). 

Conversion of adivasis by 

Bible teaching, drama staging 
(text given in the application), 
help in litigation, money- 
lending, marriage temptations 
and other means. 

58 signatures 
from Gaurelia 

Preference to Christian 
students and teaching of 
religion in mission middle 
school. Need for opening of a 
school to allow the number 
which remains to be admitted 
to mission school. 

15 signatures 

Complaint against Suman 
Khetan girls’ school. All staff 
in T. B. hospital is Christian. 
Committee should see the 
patients personally in camera. 
Advantage of poor patients 
taken in conversion. 











Samayalal 
Jasowal, 
Pendra Road. 


Inducement shown to marry 
Christian girl Urmila. Refusal 
to marry and get converted 
has come in my way of going 
for training. D. I. S.’s 
inspection note of 1951-52 
may be perused. Temptations 
of higher pay, etc., given for 
conversion. Requests 
Government to send him for 
training and give employment. 


PENDRA ROAD 
The 21st July 1954. 

There are three institutions run by missionaries 
here-Girls’ school with boarding, one primary 
school, and one dispensary. There are 150 girls in 
Suman Khetan (including primary school) 
boarding. Majority are Christians. There is no 
non-Christian school staff, but the sanatorium has 
non-christian staff. There are three Pracharaks at 
Pendra Road. The castes living here are Gond, 
Panka, Bhaina, Teli, Ahir and Harijans. 

Chairman explained the purpose of the meeting, 
and object of the enquiry. 

Jaiswal: I was a teacher for three years in 
mission school. I was appointed in place of 
Mishra (the one who complained at Bilaspur). My 
pay is Rs. 35 plus Rs. 8 dearness allowance. 
Others (Christians) get Rs. 30 as dearness 
allowance. I was influenced to marry a girl here, 
who was a teacher in the school; but I refused. 

D. I. S. Mehta had remarked that I should be sent 
for training, but the headmaster, Mr. Arthur did not 
send my name in spite of his promise. This I 
knew from Bilaspur through unofficial sources. 

He wanted that I should become a Christian 
before going for training. This was in 1932. I was 
in service for three years. Other servants from 





non-Christians were employed in the school for a 
few months. After that they were asked to 
become Christians or else they were to lose their 
jobs. During the period I was in the school, there 
was no conversion of boys to my knowledge. I 
had not given any application regarding my 
rejection for training. 

Shri Arthur: If had recommended Jaiswal’s 
application but he was not selected. Therefore I 
was helpless. I had sent his name to the D. I. S. I 
never asked him to become Christian. Mr. Mehta 
did write about Geeta and Ramayana classes and 
I asked Mr. Mishra to hold the class, but he was 
never regular for the class. The class had, 
therefore, to be closed. His work was not 
satisfactory, and therefore, he was removed from 
service. His being relieved from service, has 
nothing to do with conducting Ramayana classes. 
Unless we have a Hindu teacher on the staff we 
cannot have these classes. But if the D. I. S. 
wants that to be done, we will have no objection. 
We have no bible teaching. There is also no 
special period for moral teaching. That is taught 
along with other lessons. 

Shri Ramkrishna Pandye: People from 
surrounding villages have no intimation of the 
committee’s visit to this place. We do not want 
that those institutions which receive Government 
grant, should make Prachar of Christianity. A 
Christian brought recommendation from Dr. 
Sukhanandan of Mungeli on the 7th July and he 
was admitted to the hospital. Shri Francis says 
that Dr. Sukhanandan is not in India at present. 

Shri M. R. Konher: Thoke Pleader’s son, M. K. 
Thoke, a T. B. patient from Bemetara, had 
complained to Government that there is no good 
treatment to non-Christian patients in 1948-49. 

He was turned out of the sanatorium for this and 
he died in 1950-51. 

Shri Massih: There is no truth in the statement 
that T. B. patients are asked to become 
Christians. The figures themselves would prove 



this. There was some trouble in 1950-51 of which 
an enquiry was made by Government. 

Yunus pracharak: We have no hatred for any 
religion. During the last 30 years in Jyotipur 
church I have not heard or seen a single 
baptisma, except only one man who had come 
from outside. 

Shri Ganeshprasad: A Christian Gentleman said 
that there will be Christian Raj as there is 
Pakistan. We shall give proof of it in due course. 

Tarachand of Torwa, Bilaspur (in the evening, 
questions put by the Chairman at the request of 
Swami Ramanuj Saraswati): On 3rd September 
1953 I was admitted to the sanatorium. As some 
of my relative had expired at that time, I had no 
hair on my head and I looked a pucca Hindu. 
Kanny Ruth, a woman missionary, comes to the 
sanatorium and introduces herself by distributing 
copies of Bible, etc. She says ‘sachha rasta 
dikhanewala yahi rasta hai’. They gave me good 
treatment. They demanded Rs. 7,000 for 
recreation club from me. I demanded part in the 
management, which was refused. I was 
discharged from the sanatorium on 7th February 
1954. All entertainment programmes in the 
sanatorium are regarding Christian religion. I left 
sanatorium of my own accord, and therefore, 
perhaps they are not on good terms with me. 


CHAMPA 

The 22nd July 1954. 


Abstract of applications received on tour 




Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Nature of complaint and 
request 

(1) 

(2) 

Girdharilal 

Tiwari, Bharat 
Gram, P. 0. 
Champa, 
district 

Bilaspur, M. P. 

Conversion of poor patients by 
indirect coercion and 
temptation. Request to visit all 
mission and leprosy homes 
and hospitals. A letter of 
marriage by force with a 
Christian attached. 

(Complained regarding non¬ 
acknowledgment of the receipt 
of his letter). 

Shuklu 

Suryavashi, 

Janjgir, 

Bhatapara. 

My son had been kidnapped 
and converted. 1 had given 
notice of my son’s 
disappearance in newspapers 
and also complained in the 
Assembly through Paliwal. 
Requests Government to take 
necessary action. 

Dr. S. L. Gopal, 

L.M.P., ex- 

President, 

Municipal 

Committee, 

Champa. 

Conversions through Christian 
Mission Hospital, leper home 
asylum and Christian primary 
school at Chanipa. Children 
whose mothers are dead or 
brought up for conversion. At 
Ghogranala reside patients 
who have been discharged 
from the hospital on religious 
grounds. Requests that 
foreign missionaries should be 
relieved of their hospital 
charges by he State 
Government. 











17 citizens from 
Champa 

The mission centres in and 
near about Champa are run 
by foreign missionaries in 
various ways (already 
mentioned in several other 
applications). Requests to 
treat all those converted after 
1947 as non-Christians. 
Suggestions to take over all 
mission institutions by 
Government to run them. 

Shri Bajpai, 
Mantri, Nagar 
Congress 
Committee, 
Champa. 

Says that all non-Christian 
parties should have co¬ 
operated to put up a strong 
case at Ghogranala. American 
Christians in India are taking a 
bulk portion out of the funds 
received from their country 
and showing false accounts, 
etc. 


CHAMPA 

The 22nd July 1954. 

Chairman explained the purpose of the meeting. 

Girdharilal of Raipur. - There is a fear in the 
minds of the lepers that revenge will be taken. I 
was a patient in the leper home. A drama was 
staged in 1950 in which Vishwamitra pays 
homage to Jesus. I was in Baitalpur (Chandkhuri 
hospital). I was a paying patient there. There are 
about four to five hundred patients in 
Ghogranala. The drama was perhaps written and 
not printed. It was staged by patients. Mr. 
Balkrishna (7) Joshi acted in the drama. 
Permission has to be sought for bhajan in the 
hospital. Ramayana was burnt and sacred 
threads destroyed in the hospital. Printed 
pamphlet submitted with the application, is read 
out. Seventeen boys went away from the 
Champa hospital and complained to Mr. Bahel, 






the then Deputy Commissioner. Dr. Johnson 
requested Dr. Khanapurkar to get mutual transfer 
with Dr. Waghmare, who is a Christian. 

Dr. Shantilal Gopal. -1 am a private medical 
practitioner. Duty-free medicines are given to the 
mission. I was president of the municipal 
committee twice. Sales tax and income-tax is not 
charged on these. I am speaking of the general 
mission hospital. It was first free, then 1 anna 
registration fee, and later charging fees of the 
medicines. They do not pass receipts for 
payment received by them. There are no 
accounts of these hospitals. 100 indoor and 100 
outdoor patients. There is only one doctor. 

There are no qualified men in the hospital. There 
is much income from the hospital. It may have 
been utilised for some other purpose. 

Registration ice is recovered from non-Christians 
and Christians are free. All staff is Christian. 

When children are asked by the parents, very 
high charges are demanded. Advantage is taken 
of the circumstances in which patients are placed. 
A dead body was refused to be given unless Rs. 
10 were paid. There is no mortuary. The father of 
the son will be able to show the room Rs. 2 is 
microscopic charge and Re. 1 may be room rent. 
He died within 15 minutes of arrival. The body 
was given without taking any charge when I 
threatened to break open the locks. The leper 
home is very near the town. The expenditure is 
not Rs. 10 as given by the Government and there 
is a saving of Rs. 3 per bed. During election time 
I was not allowed to see the patients in the leper 
home. My account of expenditure is guess work. 

Girdarilal of Champa. - Thulsipujan is not 
allowed. The word ‘Ram’ is not allowed to be 
uttered. Some persons were watering a pipal 
tree. Christians laughed at the idea and got the 
tree destroyed. Lakhandas’s copy of Ramayan 
has been burnt. For reading of Ramayan I was 
troubled. 

One gentleman. - Three women carrying books 
about Jesus move from house to house and 



distribute them. 


Previous 


Rajnikant. - A man with Bhagwa Vastra used to 
come and ask people to have faith in Jesus. He 
used to pour oil drops in ears, etc. 

A newspaper dealer. - A person to whom I sell 
newspapers asked for some other papers and I 
showed him Yugdharma. There was statement of 
Dr. Katju giving figures of Christians. He said it 
was wrong. Then he saw a statement of Tukdoji 
and said it was all false. 

Dr. Theodore. -1 have been living here since 12 
years. I have not seen a single sacred thread 
being broken or Ramayana being burnt. 

Christians are required to pay fees in hospital. 

The information given about 17 boys is that there 
were certain hours in which time they must take 
bath so that it should be convenient to girls. The 
boys opposed this and next day they left the 
home and went out. The Deputy Commissioner 
was also coming by the way the next day and he 
listened to it and asked the boys to go to the 
school. Some of the boys are even now in the 
boarding. Account of hospital is maintained by an 
Indian doctor. 

There is no religion or caste in Ghogranala. Raut 
is husband and Ghasni is wife. Also husband is 
Brahmin and wife is of some other caste. I was 
president of the municipal committee and I tried to 
bring Government help to Ghogranala .99 per 
cent of the people are those who have been 
driven out of some one or the other leper homes. 

Chairman thanked the audience and requested 
them to live peacefully like brothers. 


GHOGRANALA 


The 22nd July 1954. 




While taking a round of the Mission leper home, 
the Chairman and members went to have a look 
at the Ghogranala colony. Some questions were 
put to the persons present (about 200). Out of 
500 persons in the basti, 150 are Christians. 

Bhakla Satnami. - Ramayana was not allowed to 
be read in leper home. Some sahebs had come 
some time back. They found me reading 
Ramayana. They asked me to stop reading 
Ramayana. 

Kundru Suryawanshi. - We have maintained our 
religion these days. 

A scuffle arose when hot words were exchanged 
between Dr. Theodore and some other local 
Hindu gentlemen. From another corner came a 
Christian gentleman shouting, who was 
surrounded by persons of Hindu faith and the 
gathering ended in halla balla. 

The committee paid a visit to primary school, 
leper home and general hospital at Champa. 


KORBA 

The 23nd July 1954. 

About 200 people had assembled at korba. The 
chairman explained the object of the State 
Government in setting up the enquiry committee 
and requested the people to submit orally or in 
writing what they have to say regarding activities 
of missionaries. There were no representations 
either from the Christians or non-Christians. 

(Only one application from one Ramnath was 
received later wherein he complaints against the 
missionaries that they do not give him any work). 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 


Next 






DISTRICT AMRAVATI 


Abstract of applications received on tour of 
Amravati 


Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Nature of complaint and 
request 

(1) 

(2) 

President, 

Bharativa 

Jansangh 

Nagar, 

Amravati. 

Missionaries take advantage 
of the poverty and miserable 
condition of the people. The 
converts begin to hate 

Hinduism. They put obstacles 
in the work of adivasis. Miss 
Cluth refused to pay sales tax 
saying that it was not her 
Government. This shows anti¬ 
national tendencies. If they 
want to really help Indians, 
they should send money to 

India Government. Christian 
prayers are offered by school 
boys in Holy Cross Convert. 
Why should institutions 
receiving fees from students 
and grants from local bodies 
be allowed to preach religious 
prayers? 

John Rodd, 
Achalpur Camp. 

Complaint against Rev. Major, 
Superintendent, Kothara 
Leprosy Home, because he 
had discharged me on the 
ground that 1 was not doing 
spiritual, evangelistic and 
proselytising work. He has 
victimised others and intends 
to treat some more similarly 
as soon as the Comrrjittee 
leaves Berar. 









Prabhudas 

(Manikrao) 

Januji Hanote, 

Kothara, 

Achalpur. 

1 come from Nerpinglai, tahsil 
Morsi, district Amravati. 1 
came to Kothara Leprosy 
Hospital in 1937, when 1 was 

12. Shri Widder was 
Superintendent then. He used 
to preach and baptise those 
who desired. They are never 
forced by anybody to become 
Christian. When 1 was on 
death bed, 1 took baptism in 
1947. The result was that 1 
began to recover gradually. 

Now 1 am one of the panchas. 

In the panchas there is one 
pastor, one secretary and one 
preacher and about 100 
patient members. Those who 
are willing are given baptisma 
after the panchas satisfy 
themselves. Children are not 
baptised without the consent 
of their parents. Funds 
required for religious purposes 
are raised by contribution and 
donations from foreigners. 

Shri T. H. 

Major, 

Superintendent, 

Kothara 

Leprosy Home. 

Kothara is the property of the 
Mission to Lepers and the 
administration is by a 
Superintendent lent from the 
local mission (Central India 
Baptist Mission), financed by 

M. P. Government grant and 
annual graiit from the Mission 
to Lepers. There are 299 
patients at present, whose 
records are properly 
maintained. Out of 300 about 

35 patients attend the 
meeting. Preaching, 
conversions and baptisms 
have been all done by national 
Christians chosen from among 
the patients and the healthy 
staff. 186 conversions of 
patients since 1947 to date at 
the leper home. Out of 299, 









100 are Christians. There is 
agricultural programme at 
Kothara Leprosy hospital, 
occupational training 
programme for patients, and 
future plans costing Rs. 
2,20,892. 

Gyani 

Tarasingha, 

Pashim 

Wibhag, 

(Western 

Madhya 

Pradesh) 

Vidarbha 

Adiwasi 

Mukhya 

Karyalaya, 

Parat wada. 

Though grant is received by 
the mission, there is no good 
arrangement of patients 
regarding food. They are 
given heavy work if they do 
not agree to be converted 
willingly. One instance of 

Bhikaji Sakharam of Ghule is 
quoted. Those who were not 
willing to be converted, were 
discharged from the hospital. 
Most of the 30 boys in the 
boarding have been 
converted. Strong and stout 
patients are kept even for 15 
years and given work. There 
is no good arrangement 
regarding food, etc. With the 
result that there was strike by 
the patients in this leprosy 
home. Unqualified persons 
give medicines and injections. 
Holidays are not given on 
important Hindu and national 
festivals in this home. 


Shri Khaparde, ex-Minister, Amravati: My main 
argument is that if a man becomes Christian he 
feels that his, both blood and skin, are outside the 
boundaries of this country. It is in Europe, it is in 
America, it is in Africa, but it is not in India. His 
brothers and relations are all over the world 
outside India. Therefore, his sympathy goes 
outside the boundaries of India and if some day a 
war breaks out between India and, any other 
western country he is likely to help those 
foreigners rather than us. 


My next argument is that by spreading Christianity 







he thinks that he will be able to divide India on the 
basis of religion just like Mohamedans divided 
India and secured Pakistan. They have not 
secured Pakistan on any other basis except 
religion. It is division of India on the basis of 
religion and they have got Pakistan not because 
that the Mohamedans were in majority in 
particular provinces and that they wanted this. 
They have done it and they are trying their best to 
oust from these provinces all those who are not 
Muslims. This is history, which has, to be borne 
in. mind. Thus on the same lines our Christian 
brothers are now thinking having Christian land of 
their own in India itself. They have not made a 
secret of it. They have spoken it out in a public 
meeting recently. I do not know the name of the 
village. Probably it may be at Gondia where the 
President of the Christian Society declared that 
some day he hopes to have a Christiansthan in 
India, just as there is Pakistan there is to be 
Christiansthan, Budhistnan, Jainisthan and how 
many more sthans I do not know. It is all open 
thing and open challenge to Hindus and 
Hinduism. This has appeared in most of the 
papers, which you will be able to find out within no 
time through the Government machinery, which is 
at your disposal. This is a matter of alarm. We 
think that if the Christians conceive the idea of 
Christiansthan, then there is a great danger to the 
land being split and divided into small pieces and, 
thus, we are going to lose our integrity, 
independence, self respect, religion, culture and 
all our past history. 

Then the third point is that it is argued that the 
Christian missionaries have been doing good 
work in India. They have started schools, 
hospitals, etc., in our country. But if that good 
work is going to keep power here, we are going to 
endanger the freedom and integrity of our 
country. I am, therefore not prepared to have all 
this good work for me. If there are no such good 
workers in us for the present to come forward for 
the work, they will come forward later. It does not 
mean that it would he difficult for us to prosper 
without these foreign missionaries. 



Shri V. D. Brahma, Advocate: As a citizen of a 
Secular State, I believe in freedom of religious 
worship and religious preaching and as saviour of 
human sufferings I make no distinction in the 
teachings of great prophets whether they be 
Hindus, Muslims or Christians. Each has shown 
a way of life, which all or any should be free to 
adopt. 

2. If the activities of Christian Nations and 
Missionaries had been confined to the teachings 
of their own prophets, there could be no 
objection. But their activities are not so confined. 
In the pre-freedom they followed the British flag 
as soldiers of cultural invasion. Similarly, the 
British merchant and factory owners followed the 
flag for the economic exploitation of the country 
under subjection. The economic exploitation of 
our country by foreign capital still continues and 
so also the cultural invasion by the foreign 
Christian Missionary. 

3. Instead of appealing to intellect or educated 
sentiments, they take undue advantage of the 
poverty, ignorance, suffering and need of the 
poor, specially the Aboriginals and almost always 
force these people to become Christians. It is 
interesting to see the competition between the 
various Missions. Catholics and Protestants, and 
how they succeed in converting the converts to 
become Protestants or Catholics. 

4. In their method of propaganda and preaching, 
specially by the foreign missionary, there can be 
seen a definite barred and bitterness against 
everything, i.e., Asian, Colour, or East Oriental. It 
is their attempt to bring everything Indian into 
contempt and disrepute and try to impress the 
coloured people that they are sub-human, low 
and inferior and also convince Indians that they 
have no escape unless they follow and obey the 
white races. They seem to be keen on 
propagating the American way of life and the 
American lead to save the world. They do not 
even ail to suggest that Indian freedom is a short¬ 
lived affair and the Christians should await their 
resurrection. Then again the whites will come into 



their own. The whole idea of the foreign 
missionaries, who almost always receive their 
funds from interested foreign nations, is to carry 
out the propaganda in favour of the foreign pay¬ 
master in the name of and under the cloak of 
Christianity and medical relief. 

5. It is my own experience that the White 
Missionaries of Chikalda did not want black 
Indians, like myself, to come and build houses at 
or near or even in the towns where they have 
Christian missions. Some of the Missionary 
women even visited our women folk and abused 
Hindu Gods and Hindu way of life under my very 
roof. My father-in-law had to explain to them 
politely that it is a sign of bad culture, that they 
should abuse anyone under his very roof. 

6. The Missionaries do considerable humanitarian 
work but, more often than not, this work is tinted 
by a desire to compel people to become 
Christian. Though it is difficult to prove political 
motive, the political effects that the cultural 
invaders tried to bring about are evident and it 
can be seen that the converted Christians 
specially the mass of people are not allowed, or 
are not so willing, to join the general movements 
of the people in the people's struggle for better 
life. These converted Christians are tried and 
trained to work and remain as a separate group 
with allegiance to something that is not Indian. 

7. In the Community Project. American influence, 
due to the aid they have given, is obvious. These 
foreign missionaries are often allowed to make 
use of these activities to preach politics of 
American type, which amounts to interference in 
Indian political affairs. In these community 
projects they try to tell you that American way of 
life and American he alone can save you and that 
China and Russia are your enemies. Such 
propaganda is also undertaken in the schools. 

8. If Indian and Asian freedom is to be 
consolidated and reconstructed to its full 
economic and cultural stature, it is necessary to 



keep a careful watch on the activities and the 
resources of these foreign missionaries or their 
Indian hirelings so that the possible danger of the 
Christians as a class becoming anti-national, 
indifferent or even hostile pockets could be 
avoided. 

9. To those missionaries who are doing good and 
honest humanitarian work, it should be definitely 
told that their good work and their sincerity is 
admirable and that they should render the 
humanitarian service to all. They should be told 
that even Christ would not like the idea that his 
followers should take mean and undue advantage 
of other people’s poverty to convert them to 
Christianity. 

Shri Amritkarl, Pleader: The main reason for the 
entry of missionaries in our country is that there is 
caste system, social inequality, lack of education, 
ignorance of the people and disease. People took 
to Christianity because of the obligations felt by 
them for the services rendered by missionaries. 
The missionaries had not the object of converting 
them. The missionary problem will be solved only 
if institutions are started to fight out inequality, 
ignorance, untouchability, etc., and Government 
should encourage people to start such institutions 
by rendering necessary help. 

Shri Gokhale, Hindu Mahasabha: In one village 
in Pusad taluq, it was said by missionaries at one 
dinner time that Pandit Nehru is misleading the 
people and in any case there will be missionary 
raj here. Advantage, is taken by missionaries of 
the ignorance of people and the number of 
conversions has increased after independence. 
Government does not pay as much attention 
towards this as it deserves. Therefore, necessary 
action should be taken immediately. 

Shri B. V. Marathe: Missionaries interfere with 
political affairs, e. g., they have opened three 
centres where there are Government community 
projects and development scheme centres. They 
take leading part in explaining Government 



schemes to visitors and create the impression 
that all the development is being made simply 
because of the help received from America. I had 
this experience in Morsi taluq. They say “Russia 
and China are enemies of democracy and even 
though America is helping a lot to India, Nehru is 
influenced by those countries.” Such sort of 
language is used by the missionaries in their 
prachar. 

Dr. S. G. Patwardhan: There are no workers in 
our society who have the same enthusiasm and 
zeal as the missionaries. People are likely to be 
converted because of the zeal and treatment 
meted out to them by missionaries. Unless there 
are such workers in our society, it is difficult to 
check missionary prachar. 

Shri Jaiswal: He quoted an instance in which a 
small girl of a poor Hindu family was taken to a 
hospital. On recovery of the girl, she was not 
made over to her parents. He gave another 
instance of anti-national tendency of 
missionaries. A missionary refused to pay sales 
tax on a radio, which lie wanted to purchase. He 
told the shop-keeper that the sales tax recovered 
by him now would go to the Indian Government 
and, therefore, he would not pay it. He will gladly 
pay the tax when his Christian Raj comes. 

Shri Khedkar: Missionaries take advantage of 
the poverty, miserable condition and ignorance, 
particularly of the backward and untouchable 
people. They run schools, hospitals, religious 
institutions and spread their religion through 
them. They hate Hindu religion and their Gods 
and explain the importance of Christian religion. 
An example of Kholapur was quoted, where 
Krishna was called bad names in a prachar 
meeting in bazar. A check should be put to the 
activities of missionaries immediately. Otherwise, 
we may have to face a great danger. 


Visit to institutions at Amravati 




R. C. CONVENT SCHOOL 


There is no trouble from non-Christians or 
Government officers. Out of 500 students in the 
girls’ school at Amravati, 350 or 400 are Hindus. 
Recently, I heard that the quota of cloth for the 
nuns has been reduced. They do not get any 
pay. There are no complaints for the last 42 
years of compulsion, etc., against the school 
authorities. There is a special prayer every 
Sunday for the Republic of India. We offered 
prayers for the British when they were in power. 
We obey the law of the land and the rulers. From 
1880, there is a free hospital, which gives 
medicine to everybody. They have got a primary 
school. There is not a single conversion since 
1880 till now. There was a Parsee girl who was 
determined to become Christian (Catholic). She 
was advised to take the consent of her parents. 
She has not converted. The teachers are mostly 
sisters. The annual expenditure of this institution 
must be between 50 to 60 thousand. We get 
grant from Government. The Archbishop has 
nothing to do with this institution. We get a 
portion from the Holy Childhood (contributions 
made all over the world for children). We 
received Rs. 2,000 once from America. There are 
contribution and Government grants. There is 
religious teaching only for Christians. There is a 
lesson on moral and manners. That is outside 
school hours. Only general instructions are 
given. Mother Superior is in India for over 53 
years. She left France and come to India when 
she was 19 years of age. She did not go to her 
land because she wants to save money for the 
poor. Majority of the sisters are Indians. In 
diocese Archbishop is the head so far as spiritual 
matters are concerned, but in ordinary matters he 
has not to do anything. 


ACHALPUR 


The 11th August 1954. 




Catholics are operating here. There are 399 
patients in leper asylum. There are no Indian 
doctors. It is a very old institution started in 
1904. Agriculture schemes are also undertaken 
by the mission. 

Dr. Major: I have baptised one person in seven 
years. Conversions are done by national 
Christians. I have done no preaching, no 
conversions, etc. Leper patients have been 
disowned by their own family members. Leper 
asylum helps them as a humanitarian work, 
regardless of what a man’s religion is. I help a 
man because I love him. We tell them about the 
Christian religion. Jesus Christ is a historical 
figure. Belief in Jesus Christ is a matter of faith 
and there are evidences, which support it. I have 
been harassed by certain people, though not by 
Hindus in general. I have discharged certain 
members of the staff (Christian) because they 
were incompetent. They have published the news 
in Marathi papers of Nagpur and they have also 
brought a C.I.D. to my doors. I have no Complaint 
against Government officers. They are helpful. 
Since 1947, over 157 leper patients have been 
converted. They belong to all communities- 
Brahmins, Harijans, etc. There have been some 
cases where baptism has been refused. We give 
training to persons in the leper home so that they 
should be able to get their bare living after 
discharge. Grant received from Government to 
the leper home in Rs. 36,000 a year. We get 
money from America through our missions. 
Patients in leper home are given free meals, 
cloth, etc. Everybody is required to work. We 
have religious worship in the hospital every 
morning at 7 in the Church. About 35 out of 300 
patients attend the prayers. There are 100 
Christians and 199 non-Christians. Total budget 
expenditure is Rs. 33,000 from the Mission and 
Rs. 39,000 from Indian Government and also 
from agriculture. No contribution from 
Government. 

Tarasing: The main object of these people in 
running the mission hospital is to convert people 



(reads out a written statements). 


Dr. Major: Bhikaji did not work well with the 
tractor. He was warned three to four times. 
Therefore, his services were dispensed with. Six 
Christians out of 39. These boys are baptised. 
According to my denomination, we give baptisma 
when a man is in a position to understand things 
for himself. 

Roman Catholic Father: There is no trouble from 
Government officers and from non-Christians. 

We have a boarding school and a primary school 
for girls. Non-Christians also come there. There is 
not a single conversion. We do not even speak to 
them about God and religion. We celebrate 
Independence Day and sing National anthem. 
Every Sunday we pray expressly for the Republic. 

Gunwantrao Tayade: Roman Catholic, 

Protestant and C.M.S. Missions are working here. 
They have converted mostly Mahars, Gonds and 
Korkus. Small centres created in 1905. I have a 
case of Roman Catholic Mission in Naigaon 
Bordi. His name was Chip. Rev. Fr. Guyer was 
here. Persons not attending the Church were also 
beaten by this Father. Even now there are 
several small centres where they abuse Hindu 
Gods. All the missions are of particular nations. 
They have affiliations for particular nations and 
not for religion. Roman Catholics live in poor 
people and call themselves bachelors 
(Kapustalani and Achalpur). I have got very bad 
Experience of these bachelors. This is my 
experience from 1914. All these missions are 
Roman Catholics. In American mission also, 
there is a majority of Mahars. Somwanshis are 
preferred from a among Mahars because they are 
in majority. Roman Catholics work in Mangs. 

President, Municipal Committee: Mahars are 
converted to Christianity, bait on their certificates 
they keep the word Mahar, because they get free 
education. When we passed a resolution about 
this, 19 Christian boys left the school. The boys 
were not willing to give out their true religion. 



Father: We give fees irrespective of religion. 

Have the people got any right to control 
Government expenditure on religious grounds? 
We shifted these students to Catholic school in 
Kapustalani. 

Mamraj Khande: I have not seen any compulsory 
conversion. On the other hand, they render useful 
service. No prachar R. C. Mission. During the 
famine time of 1756 or 1856 missionaries helped 
the villagers and they became Christians. They 
might sell their religion at the time of distress. 
Several boys and girls who were destitute, might 
have taken to conversion. In Chikalda one non- 
Christian doctor took fees for going to a patient, 
but later refused to go even though he had 
received the fees. 

Father: We do not make Christians at all. We 
allow people to become Christians by telling them 
our doctrines and only when they come to us with 
their express consent, we convert them. If the 
other members of the family do not agree, we do 
not convert those members. 

Dr. Sonar, M.L.A.: Inducements are offered for 
conversion. Prachar of American goods from 
their own hospitals takes place. Injections are 
given and at the same time religious prachar is 
made by means of gramophones. This is not 
desirable. 

Barve, Pleader: My request to Christian brothers 
is that they should not convert hospital and school 
into a church. We have no objection to their 
leading a Christian life. But our main 
apprehension is of a Christian Raj like Pakistan. 
Why should foreigners be inclined to come to this 
country to preach their religion? If the Indian 
Christians do this, we would have no objection. 
Non-British Christian missions supplied all 
information to their own nations. This was 
revealed during the enquiry made at the time of 
1942 war. It is difficult to give evidence in such 
matters. Censorship of correspondence, control 
over incoming finances and expenditure and also 



registration of conversions with Government 
should be necessary to check missionary 
activities. 


At the time of visit to Kothara Leper Home it was 
observed that posters giving teachings of Jesus 
were put on walls. The doctor showed a tin of 
medicine to say that all medicines were not 
American as alleged in the Circuit House Meeting 
held earlier. 


CHIKHALDA 
The 11th August 1954. 

Head Mistress in charge of Baptist Mission: 

[There are three missions-- 

(1) Central India Baptist Mission;- (2) Christian 
Missionary Alliance; and (3) Evangelical Mission. 
Roman Catholics representative came later.] Six 
years have passed since the establishment of my 
school. My money comes from orphanage fund in 
America. There is no grant from Government. 

We do not have much contact with the Indian 
people. Most of the students are children of 
Christian parents. Some of them are orphans. 

No donations from Indian friends except in terms 
of fees. 

Roman Catholic Father: Our headquarter is in 
Daryapur. We run two institutions and all 
members are nearly Christians, except 10 to 12. 
Total is 70. There is one Pracharak under me. 

Two or three converts have been made by me 
last year. It is not possible to say exactly what 
made them become Christian. In Melghat there 
are about 300 Christians. I was sent from Nagpur 
to Ranchi, Ranchi was the centre of Roman 
Catholics also. We are running only primary and 
middle school, to which both boys and girls are 
admitted. We teach Bible in the school. Those 
who are willing, come and others do not. The 




school is recognised and receives grant from 
Government. There is a four year course of 
Theology and prior to that three years of 
Philosophy for us. We have got coffee 
plantations, but our income from the plantations is 
just sufficient to meet the expenditure. 


DHARNI 

The 12th August 1954. 

Shri Upadhyaya: There are two missions here- 
(1) Korku and (2) Roman Catholic. Indian 
Christians begin to hate us as a result of the 
Christian teachings. We, therefore, feel sorry that 
our brothers are separated from us. I used to 
teach my foreign friends and I have no personal 
grudge against them. A song was sung at the 
time, of reception of Shri Grubbs ""ohYXwnWmZ 
OrVIJ{ Bgm _grh H{$ ob v {" Khansama Yunatan 
had arranged the party. All Government officers 
were present. We understood the meaning of the 
function and the song as “though the Britishers 
have gone, Americans want to rule the country”. 
Allurements are shown for conversion. 

Batu, a Korku: I was a chaukidar at mission’s 
bungalow. I was paid Rs. 30 per month. I was 
told that I would be given Rs. 40 per month if I 
became a Christian. I gave up the job. I was not 
converted. 

Yunatan: Batu was converted-; and his name 
changed after baptism, to Anand Masih. He left 
Christianity. One man only was converted during 
the last 50 years at this place. 

Mr. Grubbs: Yunatan is a Christian Pracharak 
here. He is also a khansama in Government 
service. 


A convert from Patna: I come from district 
Darbhanga, Fulbaras and am son of Pandit 




Ramnarayan Dube (or Mishra). I became 
Christian because I found that there was 
difference among man and man in the Hindu 
religion and among different castes. I came here 
last year. I came to Koylari. I was doing 
Ramayana katha there. There was quarrel with 
me and some other sadhu regarding bhog. I am a 
Preacher, but not on anybody’s behalf. It is a 
year now. My gotra is Kashyap (when he was 
asked about his Prawara lie admitted, ‘I am a 
bairagi’). I do not get any pay, but my railway 
fares are paid by church. 

Rev. Grubbs: When I preach, I preach against 
idolatry because Bible condemns idolatry. This is 
a basic fundamental teaching in the Bible. It does 
not condemn any particular religion. By idolatry I 
mean any idol made for worship. We do social 
service because it is the teaching of Jesus Christ 
to love people. We regulate our activities. We 
come here with the message of Christ. We may 
be right or wrong. You may regulate our 
activities. If we are wrong, and you think that our 
activities should not come in anybody’s way, you 
can tell us accordingly. We would appreciate 
suggestions or recommendations from you about 
the work we should do. It is difficult to he careful 
in preaching as not to offend the feelings of other 
religions. More missionaries came to India since 
1945. Every five years we return to our country 
on furlough. Those people who contribute to the 
Home Board do expect some returns from us in 
numbers of converts. 


Previous 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 


Next 








DISTRICT NIMAR 


Abstract of Applications Received on Tour of 
Nimar District 


Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Nature of complaint and 
request 

(1) 

(2) 

Chaporkar, 
Pleader, and 
eight others of 
Burhanpur. 

Sufficient notice has not been 
given of the Committee’s visit. 
There are two missionary 
centres in the rural areas of 
the tahsil, one in Kanapur and 
the other in Ramakheda. 

Melas are held in villages. 

They abuse and preach hating 
Hindu religion in their 
prachars. Allurement of motor 
ride, cinema show, money, 
medicine and wine are given. 

In some of their songs they 
say that the present rule is 
foreign and they have to bring 
their own raj. Prachar also 
held in bazars. They create 
feelings of enmity and hatred 
among different castes. Hindu 
idols made of stone and Cross 
made of wood are put in water 
to show that Hindu God 
himself drowns in the sea of 
sins. Then how can he save 
Hindus from drowning in that 
sea? Instances quoted of a 
teacher from Paretha. Budha, 
son of Tingu converted by fear 
of jail, Bhurya, son of Zole 

Korku converted by force. On 
his reconversion, he was 
threatened very much, so, he 










left the place. They not only 
convert but also create a 
change of national outlook. 

Their activities in our country 
should be stopped 
immediately. So also the 
missonary workers should be 
asked to quit our country. 

Story of “The 
Little Dutch 

Girl”. 

In this story the importance of 
going to church by a little 

Dutch girl is shown and when 
she neglected to go, the 
church bell followed her and 
made her go to church. The 
story teaches that small 
children should attend church 
regularly and punctually. 

Story of 
“Thumbelina”. 

Thumbelina is an interesting 
story of a tiny girl of the same 
name. She passes through 
several difficulties until at last 
she marries Prince of the 

Flower Elves. She helps a 
poor swallow, who returns her 
obligations by rendering her 
help when she is in difficulty. 

Vishwanath 
Shastri and 
three others. 

Complaint against 

Headmistress of Burhanpur 
Government Girls High 

School. She introduced “The 
Little Dutch Girl” and 
“Thumbelina.” The former tells 
the story of a church bell 
following a little girl, who does 
not go to church and the latter 
tells how a tiny girl was fled 
away by several people. The 
Headmistress had also started 
a Dancing Mandal in the 
school, in which anti-national 
and filthy songs were taught. 
Since the last 30 years there 
was no public lecture by a 
missionary pracharak. This 
was arranged by the 
Headmistress. A resolution 










was passed by the citizens of 
Burhanpur in a public meeting 
against the Headmistress. The 
result was that the teaching of 
the book, “The Little Dutch 

Girl” was discontinued and its 
cost was repaid to students. 

We request that the said 
headmistress should be 
transferred from the Education 
Department to some other 
department. 

Shankarlal 
Gautam, Post 
Dharni, district 
Amravati. 

Requests a copy of the 
questionnaire when issued. 

Samson 

Peddy, Motor 
driver, 

Development 
office, Amravati. 

Complaint against American 
missionaries of Alliance 

Mission that they harassed 
him in the Rent Control Court 
and by other means because 
the rent of the land occupied 
by him in the alliance church 
compound is not much, as he 
is an old tenant. These 
missionaries create quarrels 
among the Indian Christians, 
convert villagers by allurement 
of service, etc., but when they 
are later driven out of 
employment, they do not get 
any employment in the 
villages. The applicant and his 
wife are Government servants 
and their request is that the 
false reports made by 

Hartman missionary, Kokane 
church pastor, Salve 

Secretary, Davidson preacher 
and Massih compounder, 
should not prejudice the minds 
of the officers against them. 








Babulal Desai, 
Pandhana 


Burning ghat of Hindus has 
been given to mission. This 
should be restored to Hindus. 
Aolia mission gives allurement 
of free cloth, food, education, 
etc., for Balahi boys and get 
the boys in their fold since 
their childhood. The 
impressions of Hindu culture 
in their minds gradually 
disappear and their name are 
converted. Balahis are given 
cloth and other necessities 
and are asked to attend 
church prayers, which they do 
under the burden of obligation 
received. Later they are given 
employments. 

A Balahi couple is informed 
that the Father will give them 
inam for the marriage. They 
are taken to church and the 
Father perfoms their marriage 
once again according to 
Christian rites. One Budhya is 
asked to become a Christian 
before taking away his wife, 
who was married according to 
Balahi rites. Punya, son of 
Chitu, Balahi was asked by 
the Father not to take his son 
for Matapuja. But Punya did 
not obey the Father saying 
that it was his religion. 
Similarly Father prohibited 
Punya purchasing land from a 
Christian. 

Hanuman Murti near Mission 
Compound is broken by 
missionaries. Father prohibits 
ringing of the bell. Bible is 
taught and Christian Bhajans 
are sung by students in the 
schools, even though the 
school receives Government 








grant. 

We do not hate Christian 
religion. We suspect the 
activities of foreigners are 
harmful to the interests of the 
country. Therefore these 
missionaries should be 
boycotted in our country. 

Budban, son of 
Burja, Balahi, 
Nihalwadi. 

1 was married according to 

Hindu religion. But my father- 
in-law has become a 

Christian. He has changed the 
name of my wife and has 
admitted her in Khandwa 
mission centre. The father 
says that the marriage should 
be performed according to 
Christian rites and 1 should 
become a Christian. Then only 

1 will get back my wife. My 
wife is willing to stay with me. 
There is one other case like 
this in my village. 

Seetaram and 
three others. 

Missionaries agree to help us, 
if we are prepared to be 
converted; otherwise they do 
not render any help. A 
marriage of Seetaram was 
once settled, but the Father 
asked Seetaram to become a 
Christian, otherwise he would 
not allow the marriage to be 
performed. 








Swami 
Atmanand 
Bharati, c/o 
Postmaster, 
Khargaon, M 


Alphons and 
fifteen other 
Christians. 


There are 30 missions in 
Madhya Pradesh, working 
under the Nagpur diocese. 
There are not less than two to 
three lakhs of Christians in the 
State. In the State there are 
1,127 Sunday schools, where 
2,492 teachers teach Bible to 
46,535 students. Besides, 155 
institutions of different types 
are run by missionaries in the 
State. All the funds received 
by the missionaries should be 
directed to be deposited with 
Government in the first 
instance, from where they 
may be given to the 
institutions for welfare 
activities. Balahis are treated 
like untouchables and do not 
receive any help for their 
betterment from Government. 
They should be given social 
status and all facilities for their 
betterment. This will check 
activities of missionaries to 
some extent. 

Foreign missionaries are 
being blamed unnecessarily, 
but they have done and are 
doing a lot to help the Balahis 
in improving their conditions. 

Waltar has made a false 
statement that missionaries 
teach only up to the 7th class. 
Mission taught him up to Inter, 
but he failed due to his 
carelessness. 

Mishra, Tiwari and Mrs. 

Prasad speak against the 
missionaries, because 
Mishra’s help of Rs. 50 per 
mensem has been stopped, 
Tiwari did not get votes from 









mission compound, and Mrs. 
Prasad has been removed 
from service. Many people say 
that they will do several things 
for the Harijans, but actually 
they do not do anything, 
whereas missionaries do not 
talk but, act for the Harijans. 

Ten Harijans of 
mouza 

Bhandaria. 

Roman Catholic church 

Fathers come to our village 
and distribute free milk, etc. 

Next time they come they say 
that our names have been 
entered as Christians in their 
registers. But we are Hindus. 
We accept the articles 
distributed by missionaries, 
because we are poor and we 
get them free of cost. 

Twenty 

Harijans of 
Borgaon Khurd. 

Do do. 

Sixteen 

Christians of 
Khandwa. 

Missionaries have been 
working selflessly in this 
district by way of help to 
others, free education, 
sympathetic treatment, good 
medical treatment, uplift of 
Harijans, foster national spirit 
in the minds of the people, 
help the poor with money, 
offer prayers for Indian India, 
and teach obedience and love 
towards the present 
Government. The allegations 
made against the missionaries 
are all false and baseless. 









Fulchand, son 
of Bopare and 
three others. 

An instance of how advantage 
is taken of leprosy is given. 
Names of boys are changed in 
schools without their 
knowledge. A cross is 
imprinted on the hands of 
small boys and in their young 
age they are informed that 
they are Christians because 
they are borne with cross. 

False prachar against Hindu 
Gods. America and its affairs 
are praised so that we may 
feel that they are our real 
brothers. One Balahi girl of 21 
was married. When she came 
to her parents, the parents of 
the girl were shown allurement 
by missionaries and she was 
taken to some other place. 

The husband of the girl was 
asked to perform the marriage 
again in church after 
conversion, which he refused. 
The whereabouts of the girl 
are not known. 

J. B. Sadhu 

Complaint against Rev. Nath 
and request to check his pay 
registers, as the did not do 
justice to one Mr. Moon. 

Babu Kesheo 
and three 
others. 

A meeting was held under the 
auspices of Hindu Mahasabha 
on the 12th August 1954 in 
the house of one Nathu 

Keshao, wherein Krishna 

Pooja was performed and 
slogans raised against 

Christian missionaries and 
also speeches delivered by 
Premchand Virsing against 
them. 









Roman 

Catholic 

Mission School, 
Khandwa. 

The school is about 40 years’ 
old and there were no 
complaints against it in the 
past. But since 1954 April 
there were complaints that 
students are converted to 
Christianity. It is submitted 
that these complaints are 
made by those people whose 
services were terminated 
because of their unsatisfactory 
work. There are two Muslims 
and two Hindus teachers in 
the school. 

Narsingh 

Anthony and 
two others. 

A meeting was held under the 
auspices of Hindu Mahasabha 
on the 12th August 1954 in 
the house of one Nathu 

Kesheo, wherein Krishna 

Pooja was performed and 
slogans raised against 
Christians. A speech was 
also delivered by Premehand 
Virsingh against Christians. 


DEDTALAI 

The 13th August 1954. 

Attendance-About 100. Villages 

represented-About 5. 

Dara Patel Korku: A Korku does not like to 
become a Christian because he has to spend 
about Rs. 75 for going back to his Korku religion. 

Patel of Lohari: One Buda Korku, a young man 
of 25, was converted. He his wife, mother and 
two children. He was converted two years ago. 
Americans come to villages and preach their 
religion. American ladies also come. This is 
going on since the last two years. Formerly they 
came but not so often and in such large numbers. 






Buda’s house caught fire after about 4 months of 
his conversion. It was Falgun month, at about 8 
p. m. Two more houses adjoining his also caught 
fire. Buda did riot ask for any help. We tried to 
help and could save the adjoining houses. Had 
Buda asked for any help, we would have 
rendered it. Buda does not say that his house 
was burnt by Hindus. He said in the presence of 
all that it caught fire by accident of a chimney. He 
has reconstructed it. Besides prachar, there is 
also distribution of medicine, which is sometimes 
one by a lady from Dawali. 

Pannu, son of Benjamin, Pracharak: I am a 

Christian by birth. I get Rs. 87 as my total 
emoluments. I have a circle of about 80 villages. I 
have got a harmonium. I gather crowd by singing 
on it. Several times people do not crowd and I go 
away. This is about 50 per cent times. We do not 
say anything about dress, food, etc. I prescribe a 
certain period before giving baptisma and find out 
whether he is a fit person for baptisma. One 
person from Dawali village was given baptisma by 
me in Sajani because there is water in Sajani and 
he had his relations in that village. We ask them 
to give up idolatry. I was formerly working in 
Korku Central India Mission. I am educated up to 
6th class in mission school at Achalpur. I was 
taken up as teacher in Mission school thereafter. 
That was my training period. I was not give any 
pay there, but only food and cloth. I got training in 
Bible school at Raipur on Rs. 8. I was there for 
one year. The promotions depend upon 
education and work. This is decided by 
committee. I will do the work even if I do not get 
pay. 

Buda was baptised in January 1954. In April 
1954 dirty water (gobar-cowdung) was thrown on 
me when after my public meeting I was having a 
private meeting. In that meeting there was Mr. 
Grubb and one American lady. We did not 
protest against that. The villagers wanted our 
magic lanten. Since we did not give that, they 
threw cowdung on us. Buda was not baptised 
when his house was set on fire. Had it been done 
after his baptism, the Christian Mandali would 



have given him funds for reconstruction of his 
house. He expected some help from the Mandali, 
but we refused to give it. Because in that case 
people would have inferred that he was given 
money to become Christian. I had asked him to 
apply to the Mandali, but he did not. Fifteen 
conversions at Paratwada side and one this side 
have been made by me. I receive my pay from 
Achalpur mission. I am not satisfied with the 
progress made by me in my work of conversion. 
People do not hear me now properly, but I hope 
they will do so in course of time. I have never 
given any money to anybody. 

There are no complaints against Government 
officers either by Christians or non-Christians. 


KANAPUR 

The 13th August 1954. 

Dashrath Patel: Converted in 1902 when he was 
12. He narrated his story of conversion: “I was 
originally a Pawar (Kunbi). I had my cultivation in 
Khandesh. Police constables harassed my 
brother when the bullocks he had purchased out 
of taccavi loan were eaten away by a tiger. We 
approached Jagannath, E. A. C., through Dr. 
Benjamin. My elder brother was outcasted by my 
relatives. After some days my uncle and his wife 
came to take us away. My elder brother asked 
them to take the eldest brother in their fold, 
otherwise he would not go back to them. My 
uncle and his wife did not agree to this. I was in a 
mission orphanage and being brought up there, 
became a Christian in the circumstances 
mentioned above. Whenever there was nobody 
available for any work, I was sent by the mission. 
In 1918 there was influenza epidemic, and 
nobody was prepared to bury or burn the dead 
bodies. I helped a lot at that time. I left mission 
work in 1921 when my relations with S. L. 
Mathews were not satisfactory. Here there is 
Methodist Mission. I am Pastor here. We do not 




do anything else outside the Church. There are 
16 houses and 140 persons belonging to 
Christianity here. Formerly there were about 
400. The Christians are mostly from Korkus and 
Harijans. A Korku has to spend about Rs. 400 to 
go back to his religion. No missionary objected to 
my becoming a member of the Congress”. 

A janpad member said that there was no Prachar 
and no conversion in Kanapur. 


BURHANPUR 
The 13th August 1954. 

(MEETING WITH OFFICIALS) 

There is no complaint either against missionaries 
or by missionaries. In reply to the chairman, the 
Headmistress, Government Girls’ School, said 
that prayers have more effect than medicine in 
illnesses. This was her own experience. 
Government doctors expressed that it was 
impossible to advise patients or run such services 
in public institutions, as they would create 
conflicts among different religions. 

The Headmistress (Christian) went on to say that 
there was very little Christian population in 
Burhanpur. She was asked explanation by 
Government and public meetings were held in 
protest against her for her introducing a book in 
which simply the name of ‘church’ was 
mentioned. She produced an anonymous letter 
written to threaten her life. Her father was 
converted during the famine when he was at 
Narsinghpur station. When he went to Seoni and 
saw some missionaries, he was offered a 
Brahmin convert girl in marriage. She belongs to 
the Original Sectional Church of Scotland, the 
only one of its kind in India, at Seoni. 




The 14th August 1954. 


(TOWN HALL MEETING). 

Chairman introduced the members to the 
audience 

Dashrath Patil: So far as I know, there is no case 
if religious Prachar in Khaknar market after 1935. 
Christianity does not allow use of liquor. 

Shri Prafullachandra: When a man wants to give 
up Christian religion, he is not allowed to do so by 
D. Patel. He is an influential man and, therefore, 
helps Christian institutions out of Janapada 
funds. He has his fingers on the next election 
and, therefore he wants that Christians and 
Muslims should be increased in number. Officers 
co-operate with D. Patel and suppress evidence 
against Christian activities. The Committee’s visit 
was not given wide publicity, particularly those 
persons, who were mostly concerned with the 
activities of Christians, were not informed. 

Shri Dikshit, M. P.: The complaints of conversion 
against Dashrath Patel are all false. (This 
statement is supported by another 
Congressman). 

(A difficulty was expressed in giving evidence of 
those persons, who were given money attraction, 
etc. So far history shows that it is not possible to 
record any evidence of change of religion from 
the people who are converted.) 

Shri Prafullachandra: If Government proposes 
to render help to R. S. S. and such other Hindu 
organisations, they are prepared to volunteer their 
services. Are there no villages and poor people in 
foreign countries to serve? Why should the 
foreigners turn their attention to India for such 
service? Obviously they want to foster anti¬ 
national spirit in this country. 



KHANDWA 


The 14th August 1954. 

Shri Tiwari: The number of foreign missionaries, 
their schools and hospitals has increased since 
1947. There are two Churches in Khandwa.- (1) 
Methodists, and (2) R. C. Mission. I am speaking 
only about the R. C. Mission. They spend about 
Rs. 500 to Rs. 1,000 per day in this district. 

People are surprised that they are spending so 
much amount in this district. Naturally, therefore, 
they think that there must be some object. There 
was a complaint from Balahi boys that their 
names are written as Christians in schools. 
Activities of missionaries are creating ill-feelings 
among the people. We feel that they are creating 
a political organisation on a large scale in this 
district. Some statistics collected by me show 
that conversions after 1947 are on a large scale. 
When a boy goes to school, he is given attraction 
for the school and after that his parents are asked 
to take away the child. When the child refuses to 
leave the school, he is kept in the school, but he 
is given a Christian name. I had made a complaint 
in this regard and an enquiry was held by the 
Deputy Commissioner. I was not allowed to be 
present in the enquiry for political reasons. 
Government call themselves secular, but they 
help some communal organisations and condemn 
others. There are about 19 names of boys (list 
given attached)-(l) who have been brought up, 
fed and taken to school and afterwards their 
parents asked to take away or become Christians, 
(2) who were converted by changing of schools, 
and (3) against whose name the word ‘Balahi’ 
was removed though the boys are Balahis. An 
entry is generally made as ‘Balahi Christian’. 
Parents of these boys are Hindus. These children 
are all minors. The list prepared by the A. D. I. S. 
of such cases is very long. We are afraid that 
there may be some trouble as a result of the 
missionary activities and law and order may be in 
danger. The reason for this is that paid servants 
are employed by missionaries as Pracharaks. 




These Pracharaks are not sufficiently educated, 
and naturally in their Prachar they create ill- 
feelings among the different castes and religions. 
They emphasise that our Government cannot 
remove poverty unless we take help from 
foreigners. This attracts the illiterate, but those 
who are educated, feel sad for it and are 
annoyed. 

There is a hospital in Dawali with one doctor and 
two nurses. They compel a patient to pray Jesus 
Christ and on recovery, ask him to tank him. They 
stress the point that Christ has improved him, 
America has sent money and medicine and that is 
why he could improve. I do not understand why 
doctors, who believe in science, should attach so 
much importance to religion. (A pamphlet read out 
showing how portion of it can be utilised by 
foreigners for propaganda against India 
attached). There will be no law and order if this 
state of affairs continues. The pamphlet is issued 
by head of Nimar District S. V. D. Catholic 
Church. The pamphlet is meant for foreign 
countries to collect money, create hatred against 
India, and show them the importance of Church in 
India. In the pamphlet it is stated “Dirty, because 
his masters took delight in, his filth”. “Wife is 
regarded by a Balahi as his property and sold like 
that”. Who are the masters? I should like to 
know. The missionaries take the oath of celibacy, 
poverty and austerity, but they do not follow any 
of it. Babulal Balahi is a 4th year student of B.A. 
and the method quoted above for conversion of 
students has been observed in his case.. 

Babulal: Age 22, student of Nilkanth College, in B. 
A. I was sent from Mission School to Mission. My 
name was changed in matriculation form. I 
protested against it. They made it Babulal Waltar. 
When I went to college, I changed it to Hindu 
name. When the local missionaries found that I 
had given up my religion, they gave me some 
allurements of service. They also tried to trouble 
me by lodging a report to local police under 
section 448 though a local pleader. But they 
could not prove it. When there is personal 
jealousy, how can a missionary be called a saint 



and that he is doing good things for his religion? 
The Missions do not want that Balahis should 
prosper, because they have made it a rule that 
Balahi boys should be educated only up to the 7th 
class. When I was in mission school, my parents 
used to pay in kind (grain) to the mission. Now 
my parents are financing my education. The 
pamphlets read out by Tiwari are published to 
make propaganda in foreign countries and you 
can well imagine what their treatment towards us 
may be. One man, Bansilal Balahi from Sirpur, 
was harassed by missions. Father Leon kicked 
one Balahi in my presence. 

Indramani Mishra, Secretary, Nimar Jilha Sewa 
Samiti: Christian institutions are meant for 
charity. Therefore, there should be no 
discrimination in that. Why only Christian boys 
are given freeships? From my personal 
knowledge I can say that there is debauchery in 
missions. I was freely mixing with them, but when 
they found that their secrets were coming to my 
knowledge, an order was issued by the mission 
against Christians that they should not freely mix 
with me and a penalty of Rs. 101 was meant for 
defaulter. Anokhilal’s three-year son was taken 
by me to mission. I was told that the father of the 
child should give an agreement that he would 
become Christian. There is a commission per 
convert and pay for pracharaks. These 
commission agents create quarrels and try to 
settle them where they exist. They also create 
quarrels in Balahis houses among women, they 
separate the girls from their families and bring 
them to mission and show them allurements of 
teachership, etc. Then the girls refuse to go to 
their husbands. The husband is given about Rs. 
200 by the mission in settlement. Teju Balahi 
refused to take even gold equal in weight of the 
wife. The girls are sent to distant places 
deliberately. In one case where a girl’s mother 
had come to take her away, the missionaries did 
not like that and they did not allow her even to 
cook food in the verandah because she was a 
Balahi. They take only young girls and boys and 
show them allurements. I am from Kanpur, U. P. 
Order prohibiting Christian to freely mix with me is 



issued by Father Jungblut. There are several 
cases, which I can report in writing if I get time. 
Balahis keep on changing their religion frequently 
for money. A Balahi had settled the marriage of 
his daughter with a boy who was not a Christian. 
The Father threatened him. When the Balahi did 
not agree to break the negotiations, Fr. 

Yangblood went to his place with camera and 
other things and asked him for Rs. 51, otherwise 
he threatened him that the matter would be 
reported to the police. Teachers in mission 
schools are not sufficiently educated and they get 
promotion on the results of conversions made by 
them. I request an enquiry into the general 
complaints and also in my complaint about the 
orders issued to Christians prohibiting them to 
freely mix with me. There are several Balahis 
who have given me in writing that though their 
names are recorded as Christians in Christian 
registers they are Hindus and if they are not 
required to spend anything they are prepared to 
come to the court and say that they are Hindus. It 
is not possible to give an exact number of Balahi 
conversions, but church registers and municipal 
registers, when compared, will throw light on the 
number of such cases. I have stated all these 
things against R.C. Mission. 

Rev. R. V. Nath: I am a priest here. Mangilal Seth 
of Tabhi was informed by me in my conversation 
once that our religion says that those who are 
down-trodden should be rendered assistance and 
facilities for their betterment. I have a sympathy 
for the Balahi, because he is treated even worse 
than a dog, by the Hindus. The Balahis are 
oppressed people and therefore the statement 
made in the pamphlet read out by Tiwari is 
correct. I want to raise the standard of Balahis 
and to bring it to my level. No money is received 
by the Methodists Church here for local work from 
foreign countries. Babulal’s father was and is a 
Christian of my mission. Swami Dharmatirtha 
Maharaj has recently become a Christian. Even 
public wells are not open to Balahis. In Jaswadi 
one old Christian informed people that the Hindus 
had compelled him to give up Christianity. We do 
not have castes in our mission. It is a habit with 



Balahis to change their religion. My grandfather 
was converted. I do not think by change of 
religion, we lose our culture also. I am here since 
the last three years and I preach to all castes. 

The condition regarding wells is just the same as 
it was before 10 years. When I tell the Balahis 
that they are treated worse than dogs by Hindus, 
they want to be equal to others and this may 
cause hatred in their minds against non-Balahis. 
Population of Methodists in Nimar is about 5000. 
About 300 were converted, out of whom 150 are 
outsiders. Converted Balahis remain in their 
Hindu families. All Balahi marriages are 
performed in non-Christian manner. In many 
cases a Balahi girl, who marries a Christian boy, 
remains a Balahi. We want them to have a 
Christian marriage, but they don’t, we recognise a 
Balahis and Christian marriage. From 1897 
Balahis began getting converted. Many of the 
Balahis have started calling themselves 
Christians. (Agrees to give a list of villages where 
public wells are not open to Balahis.) 

Mrs. Prasad: I am a Protestant Christian. My 
husband is A.D.I.S. I was a teacher in Balahis 
School. Before taking up the appointment, I had 
informed them that being Protestant, I would not 
take part in mission activities. I have not seen a 
single Balahi using nala water for drinking 
purposes’ in times of water scarcity, I had written 
to the municipal authorities and they used to send 
water trucks. There is no untouchability in the 
Balahis School. Many caste boys are there and 
they mix freely with Balahi boys. I could not 
understand why there were two names of Balahis 
in the school register, because there is no caste 
in us. I taught social songs. Father used to do 
preaching in the school outside school hours. I 
objected to their doing so in school ours and 
reported the matter to Bishop. Thus we were not 
on good terms. I know of an Indian Father who 
felt shy of saying that he was an Indian. No flag 
was hoisted on the 26th January on the school 
building and I had to ask for it. Father did not 
cooperate in the 26th January function. I left the 
school on 19th April. I understand that the song 
‘Jay Jagdish Hare’ which I had taught, has been 



ordered to be stopped since I left the school. One 
Gangaram was sent for training. He had shaved 
his head clean. He was asked not to attend the 
school for two months till there was hair on his 
head. Mukund Nicholas was in primary school 
from Ganeshtalai. He said that when he was 
admitted to the hostel, he was given the name of 
Nicholas. There were 38 Balahis out of 131 total 
in the hostel. The no of Balahi and non-Balahi 
students in primary division was half and half. 

Shri C. D. Meghshyam, President, Nimar 
Harijan Sewak Sangh: Missionaries spread 
rivalry and jealousy against the Sangh for the 
work they are doing. Though there is a church in 
the Civil Lines, missionaries have constructed 
another church within the last two or three years 
in about half a mile distance from their former 
church. They have a special school, special 
hostel and a special well to which all Balahis have 
contributed. But they say it is their well, lam 
speaking only of Roman Catholics. We accept 
the position regarding wells as suggested by Shri 
Nath. He should have been glad to see our work, 
but they are not doing so. In Sirpur names of 
several Balahis were taken as Christians. They 
resented against it. I agreed to send their 
representation, but as you were to come here, 
some under round current went on and they 
refused to sign the application. They exploit in 
the name of religion. Education and hospital are 
their main channels and therefore these 
institutions have exploited the Hindus. After 1947 
missionary activities have developed. One Mr. 
Rathod has come here from Surat very recently to 
establish another mission. There are two centres 
in the Harsud tasil, which, but for the weather, 
would have given an idea of the exploiting work 
going on there. During our work we have found 
that the nuns generally visit backward localities 
and render help, register the name of a child as a 
Christian, and after some days they say that the 
child is a Christian. It has no significance, but due 
to ignorance the child is treated as a Christian. 

Shri R. K. Mandloi: Roman Catholic missionaries 
and other foreign missionaries have money, 



vehicles, etc. A man is called Peter, son of 
Dagdu and this leads to conversion after some 
years. I have seen Christians worshipping 
Matapuja. So far they were using power for 
conversion, and now they are using money for the 
purpose. I have, discussed with the R. C. 
missionaries and know that they use false names 
and create anti-national feelings among the 
persons who are obliged by them. Even police 
and other Government, officers help missionaries 
because missionaries have money for this. In 
Sirpur in Harsud tahsil, one Hanuman temple of 
Balahis was not allowed to be constructed by 
missionaries by the use of power and money. 
There are very few conversions of Brahmins and 
Banias. But hundreds have been converted in 
Balahis, Gonds and Korkus. Efforts are made by 
foreign missionaries to raise a general anti¬ 
national trend in the country. 

Rev. Nath: We have no foreign missionaries now 
in our mission. We receive help from abroad for 
evangelistic and educational activities. 

Fulchand Balahi: I am a shahar (city) kotwar of 
Khandwa. My son used to go to R. C. Church 
School along with other boys though I did not 
send him. He passed his primary examination. I 
was not asked for any fees till then by anybody. 
He was enrolled by Father Jungblut in Fisher 
School without my knowledge or consent. After 
one month I was asked for fees. The Father 
comes when a child is born, and he sprinkles 
water on the child and calls it blessings of Jesus 
Christ. They have constructed a temple of Mary 
Amma in Khandwa. 

Shri R. K. Mandloi: The anti-national activities of 
missionaries may be said to be (1) they do not 
teach social songs, (2) do not like to see the 
national flag hoisted and other indirect means. 
How can poor Indian Christians run institutions, 
which spend lakhs of rupees? I feel that they are 
working with a view to create an aggressive anti¬ 
national minority and for this purpose they receive 
funds from foreign Government. The money may 
be private, but it does not come without the 



consent or knowledge of the Government 
concerned 


R. C. MISSION SCHOOL 

In some classes there are pictures and idols of 
Jesus Christ on Cross. The register was said to 
be not in the prescribed form. 

Babulal was educated in this school and he was 
sent to Ranchi. When he failed there, he came 
and fell at the feet of Father. Babulal says ‘I do 
not know when my parents were baptised. They 
were not Christians’. (His grandfather’s and 
grandmother’s names have been shown as 
Christian in the sheet shown in the school). 

(There was a scuffle and exchange of hot words 
between Shri Tiwari and one Mission servant.) 


PANDHANA 

Botanlal: The missionaries say “you are not 
getting anything in Hindu religion. We give you 
free food, cloth, etc.”. They also give allurement of 
money. They visit my village sometimes once a 
week, sometimes once a month, and so on. I am 
a labourer in Nihalwadi. I get 12 annas to Re. 1 
per day. 

Amarsingh Darbar of Nihalwadi: There is a 
Roman Catholic Mission at Aolia. I am brother of 
patel. Nihalwadi is three miles from Aolia. 

Fathers come there for Prachar. Allurement is 
shown to poor people. Harijans are told that 
Hindus hate them. In schools, jerseys and 
sweets are distributed. Children leave other 
schools and go to mission schools because they 
have got better allurement. One Fatya had 
become a Christian because his wife compelled 
him to do so. Balahis (Harijans) change their 





religion for monetary help. But they observe all 
festivals of Hindu religion. When the wife of a 
Balahi leaves him, he requires Rs. 400 to get 
another wife. Therefore, he prefers to become a 
Christian and have another wife than to spend 
Rs. 400, which he generally does not possess. 
They are very backward. They do not get food 
and cloth. Therefore, they become Christian 
when they get allurement. There are two 
churches in Pandhana. 

Narangilal Jain: There is a church of Catholics 
here. There is no discrimination between Balahis 
and other caste Hindus. Allurement of sweets is 
given to children. One Madrasi Father used to 
abuse Mahadeo, a Hindu God. I had a discussion 
on this point with one Christian. Missionaries also 
hold a camp in one of the Kumar’s fields. Ladies 
also come here. I understand no camp has been 
held here this year. They give allurement of 
money and service. Some are appointed 
teachers. But they do not do any teaching. They 
do preaching. Magic lantern slides were shown in 
Pandhana in which (Harijans) were present. A 
dying man was shown, who was not rendered any 
help, and Hindus and other non-Christians hated 
him. Then one Christian missionary with a cross 
came and he embraced that dying man. Mission 
motor also comes to Bilhar. They love children 
though the children don’t want them. Names are 
changed in schools, such as Ramcharan is 
changed to Nicholas, etc. Nobody comes to 
examine the names in detail. So also in 
medicine. When any forms are to be filled or 
elections to be held, these people put up those 
Christian names. The result is that a man is 
compelled to become a Christian. In Sirpur one 
Sunday, a Father collected all people for prayers 
and gave them bread. In the prayer the boys 
have to kneel down and they are given bread 
saying that Jesus Christ has given them bread. 
One boy, who could not kneel down properly, 
because of pain in his knees, was kicked by the 
Father. I have read this in Nagpur Times. If they 
continue to create dissatisfaction in the minds of 
the people, this is likely to result in unrest. We 
should ask the doctors to practise here, but not 



make propaganda of their religion. In January, 
they have done like this. 

Thomas Charles of Guradia: An agriculturist. 
Poverty has compelled Balahis to become 
Christian. It is about 50 to 60 years since the 
Roman Catholics have come. Fathers have given 
money and loved children. This has resulted in 
conversions. Before five to six years a chamar 
and bhil was allowed to enter the temples in 
Onkarmandhata. Christians are supposed to be 
(Nich) now caste here. Christianity is a religion of 
Issamasih. I have studies up to 5th I am the only 
Christian in Guradia. 

Sukhlal: The committee’s visit has not been 
widely publicised in this place. If we get time, we 
will send in writing to the committee. The 
information given about Onkarmandhata temple is 
false. (One Nana supports it). 

Batilal (Marcus) of Indore: Now I live in 
Khandwa and I am a Pracharak since about two 
to three years. I was appointed Pracharak by the 
Indore Bishop (R. C. Church). I was a sinner at 
one time and Government was not successful in 
making me give up my habits. But I was 
impressed by the advice of missionaries. They 
have opened hospitals and schools. I was 
sentenced to imprisonment three or four times for 
theft. I met Dr. Grant, Father Bokaro. I was 17 
when I was converted. Balahis are not treated 
well by the Hindus. R. S. S. people say that 
Christians will be driven out and their properties 
will be confiscated. This is likely to lead to 
quarrels and unrest. Deokaran, M. L. A. and 
Rajaram said in a meeting that, Christians will be 
driven out and all Balahi Christians will be 
reconverted to Hinduism. Christians will not be 
helped by Government. Mr. Tiwari and 
Chhatrasingh say this. Foreign missionaries have 
done a lot of service for this country and have 
taught many leaders. When the times have 
changed, why they should be driven out? I am 
working as Pracharak since last three years. I 
have converted only one man, one Premsingh of 
Nainital (Pahadi). He was baptised in U. P. When 



a man willingly says that he wants to become a 
Christian, he is told the teaching of religion by the 
Pracharak and then Father baptises him after 
satisfying that he really wants to be converted by 
conviction, and that he knows that Christian 
religion is better than Hindu religion. He is given 
baptism and made a member of the mandli. Then 
he has to go to church and has to obey the rules 
of society. If he disobeys the rules of society, 
then he is boycotted. He is considered to be 
dharmadrohi. I get Rs. 50 per mensem. My wife 
is a teacher. 

Babulal: Singh is attached to Chatri names. That 
is not present in his name. When Arya Samaj 
started shuddhi movement, he becomes a 
member of the Arya Samaj. 

Sukharam, Secretary, Arya Samaj: Narsingh, 
Pracharak of the Mission, gives out some ins and 
outs of the mission and, therefore, he was chased 
by this man. When the services of the Pracharak 
could not be terminated, bribe was given to one 
Mayaram to speak against Narsingh. Mayaram 
told this to the Father, but later he repented and 
went to Narsingh arid told him that he was 
prepared to confess to the Father with Narsing. 
This man has given bribe to the signatories of the 
letter in which charges have been made against 
M. L. As. In Chhota Sirpur this teacher distributed 
milk and milk powder and created a sort of 
rebellion in the different castes of Hindus. I am 
afraid that in future there will be some discontent 
and unrest among the different castes at a result 
of the Prachar of missions. 

One gentleman: A man is first converted and 
then given money. There are several cases of 
Balahis, who have not been given money, 
because they were not agreeable to be 
converted. No threat has been given to him. Can 
these Pracharaks preach if the foreign 
missionaries go away. There should be no help 
and activities by foreign missionaries. 


Kunia, son of Jetu Balahi: There is a church 



schools, boarding and a hospital in Aolia. The 
institutions are for all. Preachers live in Aolia. 
Some five to six months back I gave ‘Mannat’ of 
my son to Mata. My son is about 16 years of age 
and is learning in the school in third class. When 
the Christians learnt of the ‘mannat’ they 
approached me at the temple. Christians said 
‘why did you bring our boarding boy to the devil?’ 

I said ‘It is my religion and I will act according to 
it’. He was learning in the school. ‘Books were 
given by the Father. No fees were charged. There 
is no Government school there. My son went to 
the school along with other neighbouring boys. I 
go to Mandhata and there is no restriction of any 
sort in temples and also wells. 

Bhairam Kunbi of Aolia: I used to pray 
Hanuman and Shankar in front of the church, 
where their idols are. While I was ringing the bell 
after puja the father, who is a Patel, said that I 
should not ring the bell, because it makes noise in 
his bungalow. The temple is very old. The 
church is only about 40 to 50 years old. The 
church bell rings thrice a day. We have not taken 
any objection. 

Father Jungblutt: Love can be understood by 
all. Missionaries work by love. I love for 
Snehsanskar. I am working for many years. I 
have used no force on anybody. There is no 
complaint against me so far. In regard to 
complaints of the girl not marrying willingly the 
reason is that the girl herself does not wish to 
marry because she is 12 and the boy is 13. Now 
the girl says that she was a minor when she was 
married, but now she is major and, therefore, she 
says whatever may be the case, she shall not 
marry the boy, whether a Christian or a non- 
Christian. Now it is about 2 months that 
arrangement was made that Fatiya should give up 
the girl and he should pay Rs 240 by way of 
compensation. I tried to do my best to give the 
rupees, but no fine was imposed. Love attracts 
the minds of men. When they ask our religion, we 
tell them our religion. Those who do not work 
well, have been terminated. One of my 
compounders was caught in theft. We could not 



catch him in stealing, but I could detect his 
stealing. At Sirso I had gone to Madhu Patel. 

One man came to me saying that my medicine 
had not given him any good result. I had not 
given him medicine. He informed me that my 
compounder had given the medicine and had 
charged Rs. 4. whereas the price was only Rs. 2. 

I asked him to come to the hospital to give 
evidence. I went away from the hospital just to 
see the reaction. When I returned after some 
time, I found there was a quarrel. I paid the 
excess recovered to the man. I warned the 
compounder that if he was found again he would 
be punished. Thereupon he threw the keys at 
me, but I gave him about a fortnight's time to think 
over. I gave him his pay. He turned out a 
propagandist against me and wanted to bum me 
once by using petrol. All the persons turned out 
of service from the Mission do not necessarily go 
against us. Three to four out of 10 are doing this. 
Infant baptism takes place among Catholics. In 
giving Ashish (blessings) we keep our hands on 
the forehead of the child and give blessings. “May 
Jesus bless you”. We baptise the children if 
parents ask for it. We visit all houses. If the 
husband and the wife are of different religion, we 
are generally called and baptism takes place. We 
issue certificates in Christian names if they like it. 
My area is Khandwa proper and surrounding 
villages. We run three hospitals and about 20 
village schools round about Khandwa. There are 
two Pracharaks for Khandwa proper and about 19 
for outside, and one teacher for every school. A 
teacher generally does preaching work also. 

When I found that in surrounding village schools 
there were no proper books, no teachers working, 

I gave them books, and teachers were trained, 
but boys did not turn up. I had printed a pamphlet 
giving the course. I approached the villagers, I 
was told that they were poor and could not 
afford. The boys also used to look after cattle 
and children in the house. I found that they were 
reluctant and negligent. I agreed to keep the 
school at times when the boys were free. One 
Karia, Harijan master, did not get service because 
he was Harijan. He could get another 
appointment through the good offices of local 
officers. He went on from place to place. This 



story is of Janapada school. He is given bad 
treatment because he is a Harijan. I do not think 
that a boy or girl becomes Christian merely by 
being given that name. In all cases parents are 
told about baptism and giving of Christian names. 
Usually it is either one party or both the parties 
want Christian names to be given. The mission is 
self-sufficient financially. We get a certain 
amount from the mission and we supplement the 
amount by writing to friends abroad. It is about 
one-third of what we need. For the teachers’ 
salaries only, we get about Rs. 1,200. My friends 
are in Holland, but I have friends also in England, 
France, Germany, etc. Usually we write private 
letters and also news letters. Once a year I write 
to all. I write to them what I am doing here and 
what we need. I write the truth as far as I know 
and as far as am sure of it, and write as much 
good about this country as I can. Last year I gave 
the bright side. I appreciated the Constitution very 
much. Next point was India is driving the 
Communist out. Vinoba Bhave’s name has been 
taken and his opinion is given. The great project 
(Kosi Dam) is also given. India is fighting against 
untouchability. We should join hands without 
distinction of caste and creed. I am still watching 
for the moment when a rich and a high caste man 
goes to jail and I think such time will come. In 
Khandwa, there are no signs of untouchability to 
my knowledge. But the real untouchability is in 
villages. Our object of going, to villages is to 
bring love to those people who have never 
experienced what love is. We want more help 
from abroad. Our primary object is to make 
people happy. I think we have special mission of 
Christ. The object of conversion is to make it 
easier to give His grace. This is our faith. 
Conversion of caste-people has been tried and 
there was much talk of it. But it is extremely hard. 
The higher class people do not want that because 
they are quite well off. I agree, Sir, that baptism is 
not the only test of man’s getting grace from 
God. We try to make, through generation, a 
better man or Balahis. We do not say that ours is 
the only path for going to salvation. 

Sings a song “Hamara Pyara Hindustan”. 



Mahatmaji had great regard for Jesus Christ. 


BALAHI AWAR 
The 16th August 1954. 

Chairman explained the object of the Committee 
and introduced the members: 

Raichand Nagda: I am President of the Nimar 
District Congress Committee. Since 1929, I have 
been a municipal member from this mohalla and 
for the last two years I have been the Vice- 
President of the municipal committee, Khandwa. 
My experience is that Balahis are approached by 
the Mission, because they are poor. All Balahis, 
being labourers are in economic distress. 
Missionaries take advantages of this and convert 
them. In this mohalla, a major portion of the land 
has been acquired by the missionaries from the 
British Government. Since they were not getting 
any land to live, the Balahis took the land from 
missionaries on the condition that they would 
become Christians. And they got the land only on 
this condition. If a person gives up his Christian 
religion on getting land, efforts are made by 
missionaries to take away the land from him. 
Secondly; in reply to Shri Nath’s speech of 
yesterday, that moneylenders take advantage of 
the economic conditions of Balahis, I want to say 
that Government have passed laws and 
regulations restricting the activities of 
moneylenders and the debt conciliation boards 
have helped the poor people a lot. Government 
also had the Usurious Loans Act to relieve the 
poor man from the burden of loan. The rights of 
minor boy are protected by Government. In the 
case of Balahis, why should the parents of a 
converted boy be also told to get converted. A 
min should be given full freedom to follow a 
religion of his choice, when he becomes a major. 
Otherwise it is a case of change of religion by 
force or allurement. 




Narsinha: I am the son of a Pandit. I became a 
Christian willingly because of the circumstances 
in which my community was treated by other 
Community. Temples were not open to us. My 
conversion was not due to any allurement, fear or 
threat. So man of those who have become 
Christians have their caste as Balahi and religion 
Christian. Since 60 years missionaries have been 
working here. Why was as there no agitation for 
so many years? Balahis are converted by love, 
love in hospital. When the Christian missionaries 
love us so much in the hospital, naturally we feel 
that there must be great love in their religion. 
Before two to four years, when I was in some 
village, my Harijan brothers used to go to 
missionaries for grain, which they used to get. It 
was not with the object of converting the people. 
This was because of true love. We are Indians by 
virtue of citizenship. We are afraid of the various 
statements published recently. I was converted 
before 15 years. All public temples are open here 
for everybody. I am a Pracharak. 

Govind Harijan: The teacher was transferred to 
25 villages because he tried to convert all poor 
Hindus. He gets commission for conversion and 
he also gives commission to those who become 
Christians. 

Bhaggu Balahi (or Frederick): I am a Christian 
teacher since the last 12 years. I have studied the 
teaching of Christian religion. Nobody can force or 
induce anybody to change his religion. We are 
advised by our superiors not to preach any 
religion. If we do so, how can we teach them their 
lessons? It is not an ordinary thing to convert 
people. Christians live like mirrors here and 
people can see their work, actions and manners. 
By looking in this mirror, I became a Christian. All 
my other kith arid kin are Hindus. I got education 
and therefore I could see the light in Christianity. 
Therefore, I became a Christian. Why this 
agitation against missionaries was not started 
long ago? Was it because all Harijans were riot 
affected? Many Harijans have got jobs today with 
the blessings of missions and, therefore so much 
agitations against missionaries have started. I 



think we must thank the foreign missionaries for 
what they have done for use. I get Rs. 55 p.m. as 
pay. I am a teacher in Bamangaon. I do not 
preach, but I do teaching. I am 27 years of age. I 
am educated up to V class and teach II and III 
classes with the permission of the Mission. 

Marcus: Read out a letter in which it was stated 
that Deokaran, M.L.A., makes speeches against 
Christians. Another letter was also read in which it 
was stated that Bible was condemned. 
Chattarsingh Tiwari and others made provocative 
speeches against missionaries. This was with a 
view to win election. I live in Chhota Awar. 

Laxman Anthony: I am Pracharak since the last 
25 years. The condition of Balahis was very bad 
then. Fathers obliged them by giving free 
education. We go to individual houses and if the 
Fathers say, we give baptisma; otherwise, we do 
not. Helpless people are given free medicine 
worth Re. 1 to Rs. 50. During famine, foodgrains 
were distributed by the Mission. Missionaries 
have helped voluntarily and not forcibly. There is 
no force. People themselves go to the 
missionaries. I have made prachar in 8 to 10 
villages. I have converted about 200 to 250 
people. I get Rs. 50 per month. I distributed 3 
maunds of foodgrains during control period. They 
used to purchase the foodgrains from bazar here. 

Nagde: No person could purchase and sell or 
distribute foodgrains without licence during the 
control and famine period. Will the Deputy 
Commissioner be asked to say whether the 
missionaries had foodgrain licence? 

Meghshyam, Pleader: I am a president of the 
Harijan Sewak Sangh. We have taken a plot and 
also pay scholarships for the benefit of Harijans. 
Missionaries look to us as their rivals. They say 
there is a loss of students reading in their own 
schools. They create a rift in the Harijans. Join 
Christian to Harijan as Harijan Christian. Harijan 
Sewak Sangh distributes books to students. 



Shri Francis: After the issue of President’s Order 
regarding Scheduled Castes, there was 
correspondence between the Regional Catholic 
Committee and the Prime Minister of India. The 
Prime Minister give an authoritative decision, 
which was later confirmed by the President’s 
order. It is only the political rights that the Harijan 
Christians will not be allowed to enjoy, but for all 
other purposes such as social, educational, etc., 
Christians who were formerly Harijans will be 
given the same treatment as Harijans. 

Father: We have not given books at all, except to 
those in the boarding. Others hare to buy their 
own books, whether Christians or non-Christians. 

Bhagwan, son of China: I am a Harijan. When I 
was learning in the school, and used to go to 
Matapuja or other puja, I was told that this is 
saitan, don’t go to saitan. They used to come to 
our houses and used to take us to churches with 
force and also used to praise America. There 
was a photo of a Hindu God in my house. Petros 
came to my house. The people who came with 
him and Petros himself asked me to remove the 
photo and said that it was a photo of saitan. Milk 
is distributed every week to children. 

Kania Madhao, Balahi: There was some Father 
who expired. I do not know his name. He used 
to treat us very well. All that the Christian 
teachers have said is false. My grandson expired 
four months back. That time Narsing master gave 
a lecture in my absence in my house. I 
protested. Narsing master has sent this tin (of 
milk powder) by way of allurement to me. 

Sukharam Arya: Secretary of the local Arya 
Samaj. I am a chamar by caste. Madilal and 
Narsing, masters, are known to me. Narsing, 
master, lives in Sahda. Madilal said that his 
parents were in Indore and that he was converted 
by fraud. He was married to a Christian girl. His 
wife said that he used to come to the Samaj. He 
asked me to take out a procession, etc. He said 
he did not know the Christian religion, but he got 



money and his wife by becoming a Christian. He 
expressed his willingness to return to the Hindu 
religion. Therefore all that said by Babulal is 
bogus. Narsing, master, said There is izzat in 
Christian religion. He gets a chair to sit.’ I am a 
Sidhantashastri and I do religious preaching in 
the house of caste people. Narsingh, master, 
himself said that I should go to the priest and 
argue for him so that he may not lose service. 

Madhao, son of Sobharam Balahi: Even now if 
a man goes to shave his head clean, Christians 
come in the way. 

Chhagan Alwis Balahi: Balahis are poor, we got 
converted, because we were not given good 
treatment in the Hindu Samaj. We read books 
and understood the religion through priests, etc. 
Our religion says that we should not give false 
statements and should pardon even the enemy. 
Our religion says, whether anybody listens or not, 
we should move from house to house. I am not a 
pracharak or a teacher. I am a person from 
Betaoh village. We are residents of India and we 
will take our rights of citizenship. Congress 
leaders passify ordinary people. In Bedaoo their 
brothers of Bhandarwal (names Narendrakumar 
and Benimadho Singh) who promised help from 
Government. They started very well. They said 
Government is for all and if you want we will write 
an application and give money. We told them 
that the well should not be constructed during the 
rainy season. Then they asked the caste of the 
people, and when they came to know that we 
were Balahi Christians, they said that 
Government would not help Christians. They said 
that if the whole mohalla became Hindu, they 
would get the well. Villagers said that some will 
remain Christians and others will be Hindus. 

They said that if all the people became Hindus, 
they will get the well, otherwise Christians do not 
need water. 

Meghasyam, Pleader: Some people from the 
Harijan Sewak Sangh had gone there. Our 
condition for grant was Shramdan. Villagers said 
that Chhagan was a paid servant. How and why 



he came here today when he does not belong to 
Khandwa? 


Mayaram George: A school master in Beram. 
Whatever has been said by Chhagan Alwaris is 
all correct. Benimadho of Jasmandi and 
Narendrakumar aid say like this. They said that 
they were members of Harijan Sewak Sangh from 
Nagpur. I was told that Government had 
authorised them to help Harijans, but not 
Christians. 


HARSUD 

The 17th August 1954. 

At the outset the chairman explained the purpose 
with which the committee was set up. 

Mission institutions exist at Sirpur Deoli, Roshani 
and Dongalia, Deoli and Roshani are purely 
scheduled tribes areas, i.e., Korkus. 

Mishrilal Sand: In my inspection tour of local 
body school at Mul, I found that names of two 
boys were written as Christian. There was 
change in their names and religion without the 
consent of their parents. The parents were never 
asked about it. The missions work in such places 
only where the tribals live and are very poor. 
There are various ways in which allurement is 
shown by the missionaries, such as giving the 
boys a life in their cars, distributing sweets, etc. 
There was quarrel in Sirpur over their activities. I 
have not seen them using force anywhere, but I 
feel that their activities are likely to involve ‘Sam, 
Dam, Dand and Bhed’ (request bride, punishment 
and division) policy. I had to warn them in 
Roshani. Parents of those children whose names 
were recorded as Christians, were not Christians. 
There is a school and a small hospital at 
Roshani. There was a teacher and some 10 to 
15 missionaries. Children in the school are given 




religious education. I do not know whether 
religious propaganda is made in the bazar. There 
were about 40 to 50 students in the Janapad 
school and 25 to 30 in the mission school. The 
instance of giving Christian names given earlier is 
of 2nd and 3rd class. Korkus are treated as 
Hindus. They observe one Bada Deo and they 
go to all Hindu temples and observe social and 
religious customs like Hindus. They are not 
treated as untouchables. There is no particular 
work of Tribal Welfare Department in this place. 

Chavan, Chairman, Janpad: I support Shri 
Mishrilalji’s statement. Whatever he has said is 
true. 

Ratanlal Pathak: I live in Kundai. There is a road 
from Mozes to Kargaon. Christians did not 
discontinue playing football, though there was 
some trouble on that account. All stones with red 
colour were thrown away and the missionaries 
took objection to burning of Holi and called one 
Tulsiram and threatened him. No permission has 
been given for Mahavir Mela. Strings of tent of a 
Government officer were cut out. The matter was 
reported to police. Hindus want to construct a 
Hanuman temple, but the Christians say that it 
would be near the church. The patel is a 
Christian and therefore he does not give any land 
for the temple. The father in the village is the 
patel as if by hereditary right. 

Shri Tiwari, M. P. : I was president of the 
Congress Committee. I had visited the place 
some time back. There are half Christians and 
half Hindus. All had to participate in Christian 
religions functions and Festivals because the 
patel was a Christian. Hindu festivals were not 
observed as they were not allowed to be 
observed by the patel. After 1947 one man came 
to me and said that permission should be given o 
Hindus there, to burn Holi. I told the people that it 
was their religious right and there was no 
restriction on the burning of Holi and everybody is 
free to follow his own religion. Boys from other 
place went there and burnt their Holi. Father 
Austin told me that I was creating quarrels. I told 



him that all should have equal freedom of 
religion. He told me that the village was 
established by him. The people feel that when 
there is no Hanuman temple, there is no ‘rati and 
barkat’ (peace and prosperity) in the village. They 
wanted to construct a Hanuman temple. Pathakji 
asked for a plot 200 steps away from the church, 
which was refused. Some E. A. C. went there 
and a spot was selected for giving permission. 

But no progress has been made in the matter so 
far. There was some undue pressure from 
Christians and, therefore, this was not done. 
Recently I have read in one paper that a boy was 
kicked for not kneeling down for prayers. I do not 
know whether the boy was Christian or Non- 
Christian. 

Mishrilalji: If one man in the family says that he 
has converted to Christianity, all the other 
members in the family are also taken to be 
automatically converted by the missionaries. 

They also show as many number of houses as 
the husband and wife living in the family, though 
all of them may be having a joint family. The 
Korkus are so very poor and backward that they 
do not known much of religion. They go for 
Satynarayan puja, Mahavir Jayanti and also go to 
church for prayers. 

Father Jungblut denies the statement of 
Mishrilalji that the names of boys are written as 
Christian without the consent of their parents. Did 
Shri Mishrilalji ever ask the parents of the 
children? 

Shri Mishrilalji: No. 

Deokaran, M.L.A. (Harijan): In Sirpur before two 
years the Father there did not allow the Harijans 
to put on thread round the mandap and palas 
leaves (toran) which has a religious significance 
in Hinduism. 

Pathakhji: Laxminarayan has constructed a 
tapara on the spot selected for temple and 
therefore it is not possible to construct a temple 



there. 


Deokaran: There are always complaints from 
Sirpur and I fear that the law and order there may 
be in danger. 

Pathakji: One Bansi, son of Gopal master, was 
beaten by Father. 

Father Jungblut: Bansi was not beaten, but his 
brother Kanhia was beaten because he was 
observed committing a theft. The case was com. 
pounded in the presence of so many persons, but 
even then a complaint was lodged and fine of Rs. 
50 was paid. Those who want permission to build 
a temple can go and ask for permission and they 
will get it. We had applied at Mow that some 
churches should be allowed to be constructed at 
two to three places, because the distance was 
great. But is was refused. Then why should we 
give permission to these people for erecting a 
temple? The foundation has been done without 
permission. The permission has been refused 
because they want to erect the temple at a place, 
which is likely to disturb law and order. 

Shri Joshi Pleader, Harsud: Father of a church 
should not be a patel. No preference should be 
given to him in the selection of patel. 

The chairman requested the people to solve the 
question of site for temple by making an amicable 
agreement. 

Shri Tiwari, M. P.: A church has been 
constructed at Sirra is Khanda tahsil. The 
missionaries constructed one well but could not 
get water. They used to get it form other well in 
the village. But after some days, thorn fencing 
was put round the well and they were prevented 
from using the well water. The Father of the 
place came to me. I approached the Deputy 
Commissioner and solved his problem. 


Rev. Nath: I find her that responsible people are 



not speaking in a responsible manner. They are 
speaking about things, which they do not know 
and have not seen. They are telling hearsay 
things. If they speak like that, we feel very sad 
about the state of affairs. I have helped the 
gentleman for election. Congress has been given 
directive by Nehruji but unfortunately all the 
people sitting here are putting on white caps and 
are not paying heed to Nehruji’s directive. 

Nobody without baptism can be treated as a 
Christian. This is our principal. And only that 
person who is baptised is treated as Christian and 
not the whole family. 

Meghshyam, Pleader: We have not spoken 
anything against Panditji’s directive. Will Mr. Nath 
say what we have done? 

Shri Nath: Panditji has said that no Congressman 
should take part in the activities of the committee. 

Father Jungblut: In regard to report of kicking a 
boy, etc., please do not believe in newspapers. 
The playground in Sirpur is not used for football 
now, but it is used for other games. 

The chairman assured all present that only the 
evidence that will come before the committee, will 
be taken into consideration by them, and they will 
not be led away by newspaper reports. He 
thanked the audience and requested them to live 
in co-operation and in a peaceful manner. 


PIPLOD 

The 18th August 1954. 

Attendance-About. 50. Villages represented- 
Piplod, Karpur and Gaul. 


Chairman introduced the members and explained 
the purpose of the committee. 




Previous 


Shri Josepth from Karpur: I am a Mukaddam, 
Rajgond by tribe. There are no complaints 
against missionaries. We have been helped by 
missionaries by imparting education, hospital 
facilities and money when we require them. Even 
during the rains they come when we call them. 
This is time for agriculture operations and we 
stand in need of loans. We have sent an 
application to Government, but there is no time for 
us to wait for our loan being sanctioned by 
Government and therefore if we approach the 
missionaries, they give us some 5 to 10 rupees. 
There are more Christians in my village than non- 
Christians. There is only one pracharak. There is 
school, church and hospital. The pracharak is 
only in charge of Karpur during the rain season. 
During the open season, he is in charge of 
Talkheda (2 miles from Karpur) and Karpur. Boys 
from Chhirwas used to come to Karpur school. 
Now some teacher has gone there and the boys 
do not come to Karpur. The majority of residents 
is Balahis (Harijans). I am living there since the 
last 14 years. No new conversions of adults. 

Only new borns are given baptisms. There is 
tribal school at Chhirwa, Bhutiani and one more. 
Now that there is a tribal welfare scheme school, 
the Korku boys do not come to Karpur. I have no 
troubles from anybody either non-Christian or 
Government officers. 

Bernard: I am Rajgond, Christian by religion. I 
am a teacher. Missionaries obliged us and taught 
us love of all communities. They helped us a lot 
during the time of controls. They also saved us 
from the epidemic of cholera. We cannot forget 
their obligations. Human love has converted us to 
Christianity. Our religion teaches us love towards 
all and we love even non-Christians. The 
Missionaries are always prepared to help all 
Christians and non-Christians. 

About a dozen Christians were present at the 
meeting. 

Fakira (Francis): We have no troubles from 
Missionaries. I am Balahi. My parents were 



Christians. I am an agriculturist. 


Rupchand Waghmare: I am a Chamar by caste 
of Barmar (Khandwa tahsil). I worked in Congress 
also. When I became the member of the local 
body, I tried to improve the dirty habits of these 
people. The main reason for conversion is the 
treatment meted out to us by caste Hindus. 
Though laws have been made, they have not yet 
given us good treatment. There is no 
arrangement for education. School teachers 
used to keep our boys in one corner. (A[ZmV 
{ Zht Amja ]Vm©d R>rH$ Zht H$aV{). 
Therefore, Harijans get themselves converted. 
Fathers move among them. Prachar for Harijans 
is not well, in villages. Whatever is done, is done 
in the towns only. There is still caste distinction in 
villages. Harijans have to use nalah water and no 
Brahman goes to perform puja at their places. 

The families are very poor because they are not 
able to maintain themselves with what they get. 
Then how can they spend for education? We are 
very much lowered economically. 

Father Jungblut: I had said that the incidence of 
untouchability is more in the village than in the 
town. People (Harijan) in Khandwa do not go to 
any hotels, except two (visited only by Harijans). 
Nobody else goes there. Harijans do not go to 
any other hotel and, therefore, there is no 
quarrel. In Pandhana a well has been 
constructed where all went. When a bhangi went, 
Balahi took objection. This is the state of affairs. 

The Chairman thanked the audience. 


Back to Contents Page Back to VOI Books 
Back to Home 


Next 







DISTRICT YEOTMAL 


Abstract of Applications received on Tour 

The 10th October 1954. 


Names (if 
legible) and 
number of 
signatories, 
place, etc. 

Nature of complaint and 
request 

(1) 

(2) 

Shri Udhao 
Pandurang 
Wankhede, 
Yeotmal. 

The Missionaries tell the 
people that after conversion 
people would get 
employment, money, wife, 
etc., and pretend to be most 
pious. Shri Telmore a 
preacher molested the 
modesty of my wife but when 
a complaint was lodged, no 
action from any quarters was 
taken. On the other hand Shri 
Telmore informed me by letter 
that he molested the modesty 
not once but twice. 1 am 
prepared to give more 
evidence regarding the 
corruption of the missionaries. 

Shri Sadashio 
Panduji 

Chawhan, 

Yeotmal. 

Missionaries give all kinds of 
promises but when once a 
man is converted, they, 
instead or helping him, give all 
possible troubles. The 
applicant has given his own 
experience. 









Independent 

Christian 

Laymen 

Association, 

Yeotmal. 


Incident as happened on the 
8th August 1950 under the 
Chairmanship of Dr. F. A. 
Puffer and published in the 
local “Nave Jag”dated the 3rd 
September 1950. The 
injustice and the illegal 
procedure adopted by Dr. 
Puffer was brought to the 
notice of the Home Board in 
America on the 10th October 
1950 and 8th February 1951, 
but nothing happened. 
Independant Christian L. A. 
Yeotmal approached local 
Missionary authorities but the 
grievances were not 
readdressed. Some other 
incidents are given to show 
how foreign missionaries 
dominate the Indian Christians 
and treat them as slaves. 
Foreign missionaries have lot 
of funds. Only favourite 
Christians are allowed to take 
advantage of the funds. The 
accounts are not shown to 
Indian Christians and they are 
not taken into confidence. 
Missionaries are leading most 
luxurious life. The Americans 
desire that the Indian 
Christians should dance to 
their tunes. Unless foreign 
missionaries quit India, the 
situation will not improve. It is 
believed that 75 per cent of 
the funds are spent on their 
luxuries. When these 
missionaries quit India they 
should not be allowed to 
dispose of their property in 
India. 







District 

Association, 

Yeotmal. 


Missionary activities are on an 
increase during the last 5 to 6 
years. According to the tour 
programme of the committee, 
it appears that many important 
villages are not visited 
Missionaries have started 
their activities in the backward 
area. Some three or four 
years back, one missionary 
had taken photographs of 
Yeotmal town as well as of the 
surrounding villages from 
aeroplane and these wore 
published in an American 
book. This action is against 
the interest of the country. On 
the 14th August 1954, one S. 
Kumar Christian missionary in 
the course of his speech said 
that Christians have to 
overpower the country. 
Missionaries get enormous 
amount from foreign courtiers 
over which Government have 
no' control or supervision. 

They give loans to the needy 
persons, medical help to the 
patients and oblige them and 
convert them. These activities 
are on large scale in Umari 
village. Information about the 
missionary activities is 
available from persons who 
are reconverted. 







Rev. P. T. 
Gaikwad and66 
others, Yeotmal. 

The Christians of Yeotmal 
submit that the missionaries 
have done most valuable 
services in different spheres in 
Yeotmal district, for the last 50 
years during which period 
there was not a single 
complaint against the 
missionaries. The reason is 
that they have love and 
respect for other religions and 
there is never any occasion 
for any conflict. The 

Christians of the district are 
grateful for the services of the 
missionaries. 

Shri A. S. 
Acquilla, retired 
Superintendent, 
Deputy 

Commissioner’s 
Office, Yeotmal. 

Importance and significance 
of the three, colours of our 
national flag explained. 

Christian population in India is 
estimated to be 60. No one 
desires that others should 
interfere in their religion. 

Ware were fought on this 
issue. First Church in India 
was established 1,900 years 
ago and financial aid was sent 
from foreign countries as no 
support was expected from 
inside. No foreign 
missionaries have ever 
meddled in politics. Their 
main object is to pread Gospel. 




RELEGAON 

The 11th October 1954. 











Shri 

Champatrao 

Laxmanrao 

Falke and 
fourteen others. 

Missionaries copied the 
scheme of adult education 
and started night classes. In 
these classes they started 
Christian prayers also and 
offered Re. 1 per man and Re. 
0-8-0 per woman to attract 
them. During Christmas they 
took out morning processions 
and held meetings in which 
they criticised Hindu religion 
and abused Hindu deities, 

Only illigible and poor people 
are attracted in such meetings 
and after enquiring their 
difficulties, they are given 
allurement and are converted 
afterwards. A Christian always 
tries to preach his own religion 
in whatever walk of life he 
may be. 

Vithal 

BAIkrishna 

Onkar, Primary 
school teacher, 
Relegaon. 

A threat of terminating my 
services by influencing the 

Chief Executive Officer (Shri 
Subhedar) was given to me by 
Shri Nathar, a missionary 
preacher, for asking a simple 
question to one of the 
converts. 



WANI 

The 13th October 1954. 

Shri 

Vishwanath 

Udhao 

Thengle, 

Manager, 

Winkar Co¬ 
operative 

Society, Wani. 

1 embraced Christianity 
because of my unemployment 
and poverty. After conversion 

1 got service due to the help of 
missionaries. 1 am non-matric. 











Shri Sitaram 
Karnu Nagrale, 
Wani. 

1 was given the temptation of 
giving fallowed land at Punwat 
on conversion to Christianity 
by payment of Ra. 100. 1 
became Christian last year 
and paid the amount of Rs. 

100 but the land is not given 
to me. 

Shri Nagorao 
Pouchu 

Yemurle of 

Niljai, taluq 

Wani. 

On the occasion of 
Mahashivaratri Shri Marx 

Titare came to mouja Niljai 
and asked me and my two co¬ 
workers to go to Tarora for 
playing music to honour his 
officer who was to visit that 
place. But on reaching there, 
there was nothing of the kind 
and in the evening we were 
persuaded to attend a 
meeting where people were to 
be converted. On asking Shri 
Marx as to why he deceived 
us, no reply was given. 

Dr. Ganesh 
Wasudeo 
Sarpatwar and 
Shri Vithal 

Balaji 

Bhulgaonkar, 

Manager, 

Tahsil Co¬ 
operative 
Agricultural 
Association, 
Wani. 

On the 10th October 1954 we 
visited Velora village and 
enquired from the Christians 
there the reasons of their 
embracing Christianity. In two 
cases, Christianity was 
embraced by families to get 
free medical aid in the 
hospital. In the other case a 
man was told that he could 
improve his standard of living 
and intelligence if he became 
a Christian. After embracing 
Christianity he does not find 
any change in his standard. 




DARWA 

The 13th October 1954. 











Rev. S. R. 
Bhonsale and 

21 others. 

The missionaries working in 
this area are most pious and 
try to impress the good 
principles of their religion 
among Christians. They 
advocate by their own action 
the path shown by Jesus 

Christ, i.e., social and 
religious service. They never 
give any allurement for 
conversion. They have given 
instructions to their co¬ 
workers not to abuse other 
religions. 

Shri S. G. 
Kanikar, 

Pleader and 12 
others. 

Hindu religion and deities are 
abused and misinterpreted by 
missionaries. In hospitals 

Bible is given to patients to 
read, and it is taught in 
schools though most of the 
students are non-Christians. 

Shri Jairam 
Krishna 

Pardhan 
(reconverted to 
Hinduism). 

After 14 years reconverted to 
Hinduism. Hindu Gods and 
religion are abused by 
missionaries. Allurement of 
employme